By David Sheridan
Demanding less testing, more teaching and increased investment in neighborhood public schools as opposed to charters, public education supporters will stage a third national “Walk-In” at more than 2,000 public schools.
The first national Walk-In was on February 17 in 33 cities, and the second was on May 4 in 80 cities. Now it’s up to 238, with participation rising from 40,000 to 100,000 in less than a year. As one Walk-In organizer, Arnoldo Fabela, observes, “We are definitely growing. We—educators, parents and community activists— are continually learning how to act together—learning how to work together.”
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On October 6, before the morning bell, public education supporters will gather in parking lots and playgrounds, and together they will walk into their public school in solidarity with the students who are being denied an opportunity to a quality education.
There will be Walk-Ins in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago as well as many other communities from Anchorage, Alaska to Tomahawk, Wisconsin to Springfield, Massachusetts.
“The city of Flint is struggling with the water crisis and daily life can be challenging.” So why the Walk-In? Asks Michelle Gushen, high school teacher and vice-president of the United Teachers of Flint. “Because our kids matter and our public schools need to be the heartbeat of our community, not a corporate afterthought.”
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, school social worker and president of the Forsyth County Association of Educators Ronda J. Mays says: “We have a bond on the ballot in November. The funds from this bond won’t solve all of our needs, but it will be great start. It’s difficult to focus on learning without adequate heating/cooling and without current digital technology and books. By participating in the Walk-In, we are showing students, families and communities we stand with them.”
Planning to Walk-In to support public education? Find your local event and resources here. The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), which organizes the Walk-In, includes NEA, AFT, SEIU and other activist organizations.