The Coalition for Public Schools & Communities is committed to excellent public education opportunities for all children in our city. Our members are a diverse group of activists – Ward-level education councils, school organizations and other groups – who share a common goal:
Children in all corners of our great city deserve to have great public schools in their neighborhoods – from Pre-K through high school – that fully meet the needs of our students and our communities.
The Coalition seeks to build on the work by the many dynamic groups and individuals in its ranks.
The Coalition grows out of Washington, DC's long history of parent and community activism around schools, notably:
The School Board as the first elected body in the District of Columbia – and at the heart of the civil rights movement in the District. Parents and communities have been deeply engaged on schools here for centuries.
Parents United – a citywide organization and housed at the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to advocate for stronger schools. Started in the 1980s, Parents United was an active citywide force until approximately 2007.
Recent efforts by activists from around the city to come together – through Ward-level education councils along with advocacy organizations, school organizations, community organizations and alumni associations – to work on core issues and projects including:
> Constructive responses to a series of bills proposed by former Councilmember Catania in the spring of 2013. Our response praised many parts of the proposals but urged specific modifications to allow for the greatest positive benefit. The response included:
> Commentaries on other education legislative initiatives in late 2013 and early 2014, including:
--Support for the Fair Funding Bill
--Request for a roundtable hearing on comprehensive school planning in the District
--Commentary on Comprehensive Planning and Utilization of School Facilities Amendment Act
> Concerted effort to craft the Six Principles for Education in DC in summer and fall 2014.
> A Mayoral candidates forum with more than 200 viewers in October 2014.
Now, in spring 2015, we seek to create a more formal structure – for what has been an informal group – to maximize the efficacy of joint efforts towards shared goals for public education across the city.
It should be noted that being a member of the Coalition does not necessarily mean the member shares every specific view expressed by the Coalition.