Steel Valley T.E.A.C.H. • (Tell Everyone All Cuts Hurt!)
T.E.A.C.H. “Public education is under attack. This is no time to sit on the sidelines. If you won’t stand up for your profession and the children you teach, who will?” -Jill Fleming-Salopek T.E.A.C.H. co-founder
Who is T.E.A.C.H.? • T.E.A.C.H. is a group of teachers working COLLABORATIVELY with the school board, administration, staff, and community in support of Public Education.
We began as a Steel Valley only group. Our focus was to make a difference in our school district. Little did we know how far this would spread - throughout the Mon Valley and beyond!
Our District was facing: • budget cuts. • program cuts. • 1/4 staff set for furlough. • We knew our salvation could only come from community members.
Our Goals: • to assist the local association achieving a fair and equitable contract. • Educate the Steel Valley School Board and local community about the impact of cuts. • Make connections with other like-minded groups. (Family in AFT, other unions, etc.)
Signs & T-Shirts • We started with yard signs like this one:
Signs & T-Shirts • And T-Shirts like this one:
Goals of the signs and shirts: • Keep the pressure on anti-education politicians • Spread the word • Gather support
Shirt & Sign Design • We decided on red because it symbolizes unions and in solidarity with Wisconsin’s teacher’s struggles to keep collective bargaining rights. • The messages we used followed PSEA’s guidelines that the governor’s budget cuts would be destructive. • The Governor’s policies were going to hurt everyone, and we were a prime example of that.
Funding the Initiative • The SVEA bought the first edition of signs for every association member at less than $1500. • That was the ONLY union money spent. • All additional signs and shirts were purchased by individuals out of pocket. • They were made available from the distributor on our Website.
Our Signs Started to appear everywhere: Sto Rox Clairton Pittsburgh Public Penn Hills East Allegheny Saltsburgh Philadelphia and More... • West Mifflin • Peters Township • Thomas Jefferson • Fox Chapel • Duke City • Brownsville • California
T.E.A.C.H. in the Public! • Jill Fleming-Salopek was able to question Governor Corbett at Seven Springs on Friday, April 8th!
Letters to the Editor • McKeesport Daily News, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Valley Mirror, etc.!
Legislative Support • Not all legislators were against us. Many voiced support, helped us plan rallies and even donated money for signs and expenses.
The following legislators Supported us: • State Rep. Bill Kortz • State Rep. Marc Gergely (donated $500) • State Rep. Harry Readshaw • State Rep. Joe Markosek • State Sen. Jim Brewster • State Sen. and minority leader Jay Costa
Videos • Not only did the local media and television stations cover us, we took videos of EVERYTHING and posted them on our Web site • We wanted to give the illusion that we were EVERYWHERE!
Videos • We even produced our own T.E.A.C.H. commercial. • We looked at what other locals had done in crisis. • We were inspired by Moon and Seneca Valley’s Web sites. • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
Videos • Teach commercial
What Can You Do? • Don’t Re-invent the wheel!
Visit Our Website • www.svteach.wikispaces.com/ • This website is CONSTANTLY updated with information! • Created by Steve Singer, SVMS Teacher
What Can You Do? • You can do the same things we did. • Most of our T.E.A.C.H. members are now laid off teachers.
Utilize the systems already in place: • Go to the PTSA • Go to the school board meetings • Go to your superintendent and administration • Contact your legislators • Don’t count anyone out! You never know who may be on your side or who may be persuaded. • We’re all in this together!
What Can You Do? • www.psea.org/takeaction • Pre-written letters about the affects of Governor Corbett’s budget proposal and allows you to plug in your information and send the letters directly from the website! • Spread the word! Tell everyone you know the crisis with the budget! • Call, Call, write letters, and call some more! • Keep current • Work TOGETHER! Help us, help each other!
T.E.A.C.H. - Tell Everyone All Cuts Hurt goes beyond just budget cuts! • We are not radical leftists! • We are just people trying to stand up for what’s right!
TODAY! • Two T.E.A.C.H. members - Jill Fleming-Salopek and Ryan Dunmire - are at a press event held by the Mon Valley Unemployment Committee at the federal building to demonstrate for the extension of unemployment benefits. • They both were in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at a rally.
2012 • Budget battles start up again Jan. 1 • School vouchers, radical teacher evaluation schemes, etc. are all being considered by the legislature. • Hopefully we can regenerate the movement. • We’ve had plenty of inquiries.