☎️ Action Alert: Our schools need more funding (not less!) in a pandemic

The General Assembly is back in session tomorrow in Springfield. This is likely to be a whirlwind three-day session covering a very barebones legislative agenda compared to a normal spring. (Politico shared this list of bills/topics on Tuesday.)

And, unfortunately, other than the state budget for Fiscal Year 2021, it's likely that not that much directly relevant for K-12 schools will be tackled.

That said, funding is as fundamental as ever to our schools' functioning! If your state rep and state senator haven't heard from you as a public school supporter recently, this is an important time to contact them!
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What children need now and when schools reopen

Public schools are playing a vital role in helping families through the current crisis and in the recovery period to come. The pandemic and school closures have made it clearer than ever that public schools are the center of our communities and our children’s education.

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April's News You Can Use: What's needed until and when schools reopen

Forty-three states, including Illinois, have closed K-12 schools for the remainder of the year. Mass closures and a sudden switch to crisis schooling from a distance have prompted reflections on the crucial role of schools for children and communities. It’s also prompted speculation about what changes might take place longer term as a result of the closings and the pandemic.

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#ShareMyCheck: Direct help for families impacted by the pandemic

With over two million K-12 students' public schools closed due to COVID-19, there are a number of ways in which families across Illinois are being impacted by the pandemic. We’d like to highlight a few and share an action step you might want to take. 

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Advice on video-conference apps and student privacy

With the mass school closures due to COVID-19, there has been a sudden shift to crisis schooling via remote learning, and in the wake of this existing student data privacy concerns about education technology have ballooned.

Unfortunately, in many cases, parents’ need and desire to protect their children’s privacy has been put in direct conflict with how schools are attempting to provide a substitute for education away from the physical classroom.

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Equity concerns during school closures in Waukegan

As families across Illinois cope with adapting to life and learning during the Covid-19 epidemic, we were contacted by a group of parents and community members in Waukegan who are going through a particularly difficult struggle with their district.

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March's News: Schooling in the time of COVID-19

The unprecedented shutdown of public and private schools in dozens of states last week has illuminated one easily forgotten truism about schools: They are an absolute necessity for the functioning of civic culture, and even more fundamentally than that, daily life.

Schools are the centers of communities. They provide indispensible student-welfare services, like free meals, health care, and even dentistry. They care for children while parents work. And all those services do much to check the effects of America’s economically stratified systems of employment and health care on young students.” --When Schools Shut Down, We All Lose Education Week March 20, 2020.

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Gov. Pritkzer & Mayor Lightfoot: Close schools & support families

Update 4:30pm Fri. 3/13: Thank you for advocating! Your voices were heard today. Gov. Pritzker announced all private and public schools will be closed beginning Tuesday March 17th through March 30th.

More advocating going to be needed in the months to come to make sure children and families and communities are getting what they need in very difficult times.

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February’s News You Can Use: the Right to Play; Google sued over student privacy; Pritzker's K-12 school budget

In this Issue:

  1. The Right to Play Every Day bill, SB3717 
  2. New Mexico's AG sues Google for violating student data privacy protections
  3. Gov. Pritzker’s inadequate budget for K-12 schools

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It's Data Privacy Day: Help us stop the College Board from selling our kids' data!

January 28th is Data Privacy Day, an international annual day of awareness to promote protection of our personal data.

Illinois has a state law to protect student data privacy, the Student Online Personal Protection Act---a law that will be even stronger when the amendments we worked to pass last year go into effect.

But, even as it stands now, vendors cannot legally sell, rent or lease student data they collect in Illinois' schools.

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