People For the American Way

Public Schools Week Demonstrates Broad, Diverse Support for High-Quality Public Education

People For in Action

In celebration of Public Schools Week, People For the American Way and more than 50 national organizations have reaffirmed their commitment to the highest quality public education for all students. Our joint statement follows below and is available here. Public education is also a key policy area for PFAW’s African American Religious Affairs program, working in conjunction with PFAW Foundation.

We issue this joint statement in support of public education and our continued commitment to the highest quality public education for all students:

Public education is the foundation of our 21st‐century democracy. Our public schools are where our students come to be educated in the fullest sense of the word as citizens of this great country. We strive every day to make every public school a place where we prepare the nation’s young people to contribute to our society, economy and citizenry.

Ninety percent of American children attend public schools. We call on local, state and federal lawmakers to prioritize support for strengthening our nation’s public schools and empowering local education leaders to implement, manage and lead school districts in partnership with educators, parents, and other local education stakeholders and learning communities. This support would also provide for such necessities as counseling, extra/co‐curricular activities and mental health supports that are critical to help students engage in learning.

We support and value inclusive and safe high‐quality public schools where children learn to think critically, problem solve and build relationships. We support an environment where all students can succeed beginning in the earliest years, regardless of their zip code, the color of their skin, native language, disability, gender/gender identity, immigration status, religion, or social standing.

We promote advancing equity and excellence in public education, and implementing continuous improvement and evidence‐based practices. Every child has the right to an education that helps them reach their full potential and to attend schools that offer a high quality educational experience.

We support stable, equitable, predictable and adequate funding for great public schools for every student in America so that students have inviting classrooms and school libraries with up‐to‐date resources as well as well‐prepared and supported educators. These educators include teachers, paraprofessionals and principals who provide a well‐rounded and complete curriculum and create joy in learning. Our school buildings should have class sizes small enough to allow one‐on‐one attention and have access to support services such as health care, nutrition, and after‐school programs for students who need them.

We believe that public tax dollars should only support public schools that are publicly governed and accountable to parents, educators and communities. In no way should local, state or federal funding be taken away from public schools and given to private schools that are unaccountable to the public.

We reiterate our love for public education and pride in our public schools. We will continue to promote the promise and purpose of public education, to elevate the great things happening every day in our public schools, and to engage communities about strategies that help students succeed. We affirm our commitment to fight for resources and supports for public schools, and will be steadfast in our efforts to protect students and their families, public schools, and our communities from any policies that would undermine these values.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association
Afterschool Alliance
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of School Librarians
American Association of School Libraries
American Federation of Teachers
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
American Library Association
American School Counselor Association
Americans for Democratic Action
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Association of Educational Service Agencies
Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO)
Center for American Progress
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Council for Exceptional Children
Council of Administrators of Special Education
CUE
EDGE
Education Networks of America
Every Child Matters
GLSEN
Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Learning Forward
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association for Bilingual Education
National Association of Black School Educators
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of State Directors of Special Education
National Back Justice Coalition
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Teachers of English
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
National Education Association Retirees Organization (NEARO)
National Education Association
National PTA
National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium
National Rural Education Association
National School Boards Association
National School Public Relations Association
National Science Teachers Association
Network for Public Education
New Teacher Center
People For the American Way
Project Tomorrow
School Social Work Association of America
Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS.org)
Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
Teach Plus
University Council for Educational Administration