February is “Education Justice is Racial Justice” month

With this declaration, we seek to recognize that systemic racism has shortchanged entire school districts serving Black, Brown and immigrant students, resulting in the underfunding of high need schools for students of all races — and that in order to equip communities to overcome educational racism, we need New York State to provide equity by fully funding schools.

AQE will be marking every day in February with an action. Each action will usually take only a few minutes of your time, but every action will have a common goal: building the movement for education justice. 

DAY 16: Post on your Assemblymember’s Facebook wall and let them know racial and economic justice in education matters to you. 

Did you know Facebook now lets you turn on a “constituent badge”? It’s a symbol that allows your elected officials to recognize you as a constituent and know that your voice matters when you post or comment on their page. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open Facebook and scroll down to click on “Town Hall” in the lefthand menu.
  2. Enter your permanent address to find the elected representatives for your location. 
  3. In the top righthand corner, you will see a section called “Constituent Badge” with an On/Off button. Click the button to turn it on.

Click on your New York State Assemblymember’s profile to write a message on their wall.

You can use the following script or write your own:

Assemblymember ______, I urge that you fight for a full phase-in of Foundation Aid that will fund our schools who are owed 4.2 billion dollars. Fight for a budget that supports economic and racial justice! Students and constituents are depending on you.

DAY 15: Check your Assemblymember’s Albany and district office phone numbers. Call and tell them why racial and economic justice for New York’s schools is important to you. 

You can follow this script or write your own:

“Hello, my name is ________ from _________. New York’s public schools are owed $4.2 billion in Foundation Aid. I am calling to urge you to fight for a final state budget that fully funds racial and economic equity in 2018, with a full phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula.”

DAY 14: Send a Valentine’s Day card to your State Assemblymember and ask them to show love for our schools by supporting full funding for Foundation Aid in the state budget. If you prefer old fashion postal mail — look up your Assemblymember’s name and their office mailing address, and put your handwritten note in the mail today.

You can follow the script below or write your own:

Dear Assemblymember  ________,

This Valentine’s Day, show public school students that they matter to New York State. I am writing to urge you to fully fund racial and economic justice for schools in this year’s state budget, and fight for a full phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula.

DAY 13: Tweet at your Assemblymember:

  1. Look up your Assemblymember — if you already know your Assemblymember, skip to the next step.  
  2. Search here for your Assemblymember’s Twitter handle. If your Assemblymember isn’t on Twitter, or if your Assembly seat is vacant, tweet at the Assembly Majority instead: @NYSA_Majority.  
  3. Insert your Assemblymember’s Twitter handle at the end of this Tweet:

DAY 12: Send a message to your Assemblymember urging they ONLY support a state budget that would fully fund the Foundation Aid formula.

DAY 11: At brunch today, (or for those who don’t enjoy brunch — while sitting around Sunday dinner) initiate a conversation with your friends and family about why we are fighting for racial justice in our public schools.

DAY 10: Show that you stand against racial injustice in our schools for Education Justice Is Racial Justice Month by updating your social media profile photos. Right-click the image to below to download:

DAY 9: Record and post a short video sharing your reflections on Black Lives Matter at School Week. Post your video on Facebook and remember to use the hashtag #BLMEdu.

DAY 8: Text your friends and family, and invite them to a group meet up and discussion before the end of the weekend. You can include a link to this article on Black Lives Matter at School week, and use this opportunity to explain why this fight is important to YOU.

DAY 7: On the first anniversary of Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education, send her a letter demanding she reinstate the protections she has eliminated for the civil rights of students of color, LGBTQ students and students with special needs.

DAY 6: Tweet this interview with Nikole Hannah-Jones, tagging at least 10 followers and asking them to listen. If you’re not on Twitter, share the interview with 10 family members or friends by email, instead!


 DAY 5: Kick off BLM in schools by listening to this episode of The Atlantic Interview, on racial inequity in schools and how it is upheld by segregation, with writer and reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones and The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg. (You can also read excerpts of the interview here.)

DAY 4: Give Governor Cuomo a grade for his education record.

DAY 3: Call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390.

Press 1 to leave him a message. You can follow this script or write your own:

“Hello, my name is ________ from _________. New York’s public schools are owed $4.2 billion in Foundation Aid. Your state budget proposal is grossly inadequate and does not meet the needs of students. I am calling to demand you that the final state budget fully funds racial and economic equity in 2018 with a full phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula.”

DAY 2: Share the petition to Governor Cuomo with your social networks — digital or in person.



DAY 1: Sign the Petition to Governor Cuomo: End Educational Racism, Fund Equity in Schools

This page will be updated with new actions daily throughout the month of February.