Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Join the Network for Public Education and Combat Betsy DeVos’s Agenda

Want to resist the democracy-destroying agenda of Department of Education head Betsy DeVos? Join the Network for Public Education.

Founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch, a historian of education and author of numerous books, including Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform and The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, it aims to protect and defend the nation’s public school system from the forces that would destroy it.


Visit the Network for Public Education’s web page:


See its agenda:


Join its grassroots network (scroll down to find your state):


Review its Toolkit that explains school privatization, and why it’s a problem:


Like it on Facebook:


Follow it on Twitter:



Donate to the Network for Public Education:

Action Alerts · Public Education · Vote with your Dollars

Remember Philando Castile by Following His Example–Pay His Schoolchildrens’ Meal Debts

Carry on the good work of Philando Castile by doing what he did–pay for the breakfasts and lunches of kids in his school cafeteria who could not afford their meals.

Castile was shot and killed on July 6, 2016, by a police officer who pulled him over in greater St. Paul, Minnesota, for a broken tail light. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds,  live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. Her four-year-old daughter was in the car. Castile was 32. The officer who killed him was tried on second-degree manslaughter and other charges and found not guilty. He was fired the same day the verdict came down.

Castile was well-loved by the children at the J.J. Hill Montessori magnet school, a public school for pre-kindergarteners to fifth graders in St. Paul. The cafeteria supervisor would often pay for the breakfasts and lunches of students who could not afford their meals.

Inver Hills Community College professor Pam Fergus launched a fundraiser in his name: Philando Feeds the Children.

It’s on the YouGiving fundraiser platform. As of September 3, it had slightly exceeded its goal of $50,000, which was extended to cover the meal debts of the entire St. Paul public school system. The fundraiser will remain open into November.

If the scope of the fundraiser changes again we’ll update this page accordingly, and we will update it in November to note when the fundraiser closes.

Update, November 12, 2017: The fundraiser has been updated. Goal is now $999,999, and will help all public schools in St. Paul and beyond. As of this date it has raised more than $94,000.


Donate to Philando Feeds the Children:


Read a piece from The Root on the fundraiser:


Read about the killing of Castile (warning–some links may show videos of the confrontation, and may show the aftermath):

Cabinet Nominees · Community Activism · Public Education

ICYMI: Contact Friends in Red States and Ask Them to Ask Their Senators to Vote NO on Sessions

ICYMI: Reposting because Jeff Sessions’s nomination goes to a vote this week. The Democrats held an all-night speaking event to oppose him. If you haven’t called your senators yet, please do, and urge your friends and family across the country to call their senators to ask them to vote against Sessions, too.

Here is a tool you can give them that will help them find their senators:

Calling is best. They should find the list of district offices and call one of those. It’s far easier to get through to a district (home state) office than the Washington, D.C. office. Congressional offices are typically open during business hours in their given time zones.

Tell them to keep calling until they get a live person.

Here is a sample script they can use:

“Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname from town, zip code). I am calling to ask Senator (Lastname) to vote no on Jeff Sessions for the U.S. Attorney General on Monday. He has a truly terrible track record on civil rights–he was declined a federal judgeship in 1986 due to racist comments–and he shows little to no sign of being able to stand up to Trump. I urge you to vote no on Sessions.”

If they do not get a live person, they can leave a voice mail message or send email through the form on each Senator’s web site.


Original text of the Jeff Sessions post follows.

Call your senators and tell them that you oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions to the post of attorney general of the United States.

Sessions, you might remember, was essentially deemed too racist for Congress to appoint as a federal judge back in the 1980s.

Few people get less racist over time without deliberately working to think and act in less racist ways. You get one guess about whether Sessions has improved himself over the last 30 years.

The head of the NAACP in Alabama and his colleagues held an eight-hour sit in at Sessions’s Alabama office on January 3, saying they’d stay until he or Trump withdrew his name from consideration for the AG post, or they were arrested. (They were arrested.)

Bonus: Below is a link that shows who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Is one of your senators a member? If so, it’s extra-important for you to call and oppose seating Jeff Sessions as the country’s AG. (Irony alert: Sessions sits on this committee.)

Link to the members of the Judiciary Committee:


This spreadsheet contains a sample script you can use when calling your senators about Sessions’s nomination:


Background on Sessions: … 3e2b08ba1a

Background on the NAACP sit-in: … index.html

Background on the failed nomination to the federal bench in the 1980s: … 394900cb96






Cabinet Nominees · Public Education

ICYMI: Contact Friends in Red States and Ask Them to Ask Their Senators to Vote NO on DeVos

Democrats will end their #HoldTheFloor marathon at noon. If you haven’t called your senators to oppose DeVos, NOW IS THE TIME.

Correction #1: OTYCD misidentified Durbin’s affiliation. He is a Democrat, not a Republican. He was included based on a letter he sent to a constituent that showed him to be squishy on the issue of confirming DeVos, rather than giving a clear and unambiguous “no.”

Correction #2: The Friday morning vote on DeVos is for cloture. It’s a sort of table-setting move that allows for the actual vote, which still takes place on Monday.

Please use today and the weekend to get in touch with friends in other states who have Republican senators and ask them to vote no on DeVos.

OTYCD will also repost and retweet the item on Sessions, as he goes up for a vote on Monday directly after DeVos.


Do you live in Illinois? Do you have a friend or family member who does? Call, call, call Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and tell him to vote no on Betsy DeVos. Here are the numbers for Durbin’s district offices and his Washington, D.C. office:

Chicago: 312.353.4952

Springfield: 217.492.4062

Carbondale: 618.351.1122

Rock Island: 309.786.5173

Washington, D.C.: 202.224.2152


Do you live in Pennsylvania? Do you have a friend or family member who does? Call, call, call Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and tell him to vote no on Betsy DeVos. Here are the numbers for Toomey’s district office and his Washington, D.C. office:

Erie: 814.453.3010

Pittsburgh: 412.803.3501

Johnstown: 814.266.5970

Harrisburg: 717.782.3951

Scranton: 570.941.3540

Allentown/Lehigh Valley: 610.434.1444

Philadelphia: 215.241.1090

Washington, D.C.: 202.224.4254


Do you live in North Carolina? Do you have a friend or family member who does? Call, call, call North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis and tell him to vote no on Betsy DeVos. Here are the numbers for Tillis’s district office and his Washington, D.C. office:
Raleigh: 919.856.4630
Charlotte: 704.509.9087

Greenville: 252.329.0371

High Point: 336.885.0685

DC: 202.224.6342



Original text of the post about opposing Betsy DeVos appears below.

This action requires you to call your two senators.

Got another Trump cabinet nominee for you to oppose, but first, know this: The GOP is trying a distraction tactic. They’ve scheduled six Trump cabinet appointee hearings for the same day–Wednesday, January 11–in hopes that swamping us with news will make it too hard to object to any one thing.

Don’t fall for it.

Please call your senators and oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education. She is one of the six who’s scheduled for senate hearings on Jan 11.

While charter schools can be done well, DeVos’s approach has the (likely intended) effect of crippling public schools. She also favors school vouchers, which certain fundamentalist religious folk favor so they can boost poorer-quality religious schools over public schools.

Even if you like charter schools, most charter school-supporters do not like the way DeVos implemented them in the Detroit area. Her efforts there are seen as a failure.

More about Betsy DeVos:

More on the schedule-six-cabinet-wannabes-in-one-day tactic:


Edited to add this link. An ethics official warned that the Republican rush might force Congress to hold hearings before background checks on the nominees are finished: