by Brian Washington
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People love expressing themselves through selfies they circulate via social media. But your next selfie could also send a powerful message that it’s time for Congress to finish writing a new federal education law that creates opportunity for all students, regardless of their ZIP code. That’s what pro-public education activists across the country are doing right now and here’s why you need to do it as well.
Last week, Congressional leaders announced they’ve struck a tentative agreement on a framework to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as No Child Left Behind. Both the House and Senate have already approved their own versions of the bill. Now representatives from both sides are expected to begin meeting this week as a conference committee with the goal of hammering out a final version—one that can soon be put to a vote in both chambers.
“Today, we are a step closer to rewriting a federal education law that commits America to the success of every student regardless of their ZIP code,” read a statement from Utah educator Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, which represents 3-million educators nationwide. “While we welcome this progress, our work is not done. We look forward to working with the Congressional conference committee members to ensure that we produce a bill that, when signed by the president, gives every student the opportunity, support, tools, and time to learn.”
Here’s how you can make your voice heard—and have some fun at the same time. Print out a copy of our “It’s time to #GetESEARight” sign and write in why now is the time to do it. You can pose by yourself or with a group of friends holding your sign. And after you take the photo, send it out via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #GetESEARight. We want to flood social media with hundreds of educators and pro-public education activists taking #GetESEARight selfies.
Here are some other ways you can raise your voice and urge members of Congress to finish the job and free students from the failed policies of No Child Left Behind:
- Send an email to lawmakers by going to GetESEARight.com;
- Tweet your lawmakers by clicking here; or
- Call them using this toll free number: 1-866-331-7233
Don’t underestimate the power of your voice. It’s because of actions that people just like you have already taken on behalf of students that we’ve been able to come this far. This year, educators have made nearly half a million individual contacts to members of Congress. However, we can’t stop now. So get out your smart phone, strike your best pose, and tell lawmakers why it’s time to #GetESEARight!