We are a coalition of north city residents. We are also St. Louis Public School educators, students, alumni, parents, aunties and grandparents of students. As such, we care deeply about the city’s public education system and work together to improve it out of a place of love.
We've recently gone door-to-door, talking with our neighbors about their experiences with education, hearing how limited resources have impacted our neighborhoods. We know North city schools and the people in them continue to be under resourced—our youth, teachers, and broader community feel the impacts.
So we decided to take action!
We envision a future where adequate resources are allocated towards our public school communities most in need. What if our schools all had additional social workers? How about washers and dryers for students without access at home? What if every school had full libraries?
To activate this future, we are demanding more—more transparency and more community input around how the SLPS budget is sourced, managed and allocated. The budget is currently inaccessible, especially to the people impacted by the budget every single day. We value transparency as the first step in building a public education system where those most impacted by the schools serve as partners in developing key district resourcing solutions.
We demand that the district formally adopt and implement the following policies by December 31, 2018:
Distribute paper and electronic communications to all schools staff, faculty, and families about all budget meetings and decisions.
Host four sessions a year to gather public input into key decisions on the upcoming school year's budget.
Release paper and electronic reports and dashboards that illustrate district-wide and school specific budget sources, allocations, goals, and strategic priorities.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Updated on an ongoing basis. Have a question? Email us at BetterBudgets@wepowerstl.org.
Q: The district currently publishes a Budget Playbook. Doesn't that address these demands?
A: The Playbook is a first step. Lack of accessible, consistent outreach, however, means that those impacted by the budget are not supported in navigating current materials. It is vital that distribution of materials meet people where they are at.
Q: Is this a school choice campaign?
A: No, this is not a school choice campaign.
Better Budgets, Better Schools is a campaign designed by us, the graduates of WEPOWER’s inaugural North St. Louis City Education Power-Building Academy. As part of the 6-month community organizing and capacity-building training course, we selected a policy initiative to pursue and designed a campaign to enact that change.