Educators, parents, students, community members participate in ‘virtual rally,’ urging Congress to make Michigan’s students top priority
LANSING — Thousands of Michigan educators, parents, students and community members today called for federal relief for education amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic during a Facebook Live “virtual rally.” The Our Children, Our Future coalition urged Congress to increase flexibility on earlier school funding support and add additional funding to ensure Michigan students continue to receive a high-quality education.
“This year, my classmates and I have missed out on a lot — seeing each other every day, learning together, and celebrating hard-earned accomplishments,” Donovan Rogers, a senior in the Southfield Public School District, said during Friday’s event. “We need our government to prioritize and to protect the education of future leaders with effective plans and equitable funding to ensure all students, regardless of where they go to school, can fully engage in education.”
“We have to make sure our public schools stay strong and vibrant, particularly as the fall rolls around, which is why we have to fight for federal funding,” said U.S. Sen. Gary Peters. “We have to invest in our students now. They can’t fall behind. Our public schools cannot be a causality of COVID-19.”
“We prioritize what we value, and I think now more than ever we need to send a strong message that it’s time to prioritize the children in this country and the children in this state,” said state Rep. Sheryl Kennedy, D-Davison. “More than ever, we need investment in education and that has to come from the federal government. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is about supporting communities, and it is the federal government’s responsibility to do so.”
The Our Children, Our Future virtual rally was planned to urge Congress to pass more than $175 billion for public schools across the country, helping to relieve pandemic-driven revenue declines that threaten education funding. At the federal level, we have seen massive bailouts for airlines, banks and other large corporate industries suffering economic hardship as a result of this pandemic. Our students and our schools deserve no less consideration than those industries.
A recording of tonight’s virtual rally – which was viewed by more than 7,000 participants – is available online now via Facebook.
Participating organizations in the Our Children, Our Future virtual rally included MEA, AFT Michigan, Middle Cities Education Association, Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, and Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education.
Doug Pratt, Michigan Education Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Rowe, AFT Michigan, email@example.com
Bob Kefgen, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, firstname.lastname@example.org