- About Us
- Issues & Victories
- Organizing Tools
Wed Oct 14, 2009
The Alliance Schools Initiative grew out of relationships between member institutions in the local Texas IAF organizations and public schools in their neighborhoods. The Texas Network took relational organizing principles into low income communities to engage parents and community in the transformation of their schools. This model of school organizing has been replicated by other West and Southwest IAF organizations, and has been widely recognized by both the public and private sector as a successful strategy for community engagement and student achievement. Most recently, a study by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University credits Austin Interfaith’s work with area Alliance Schools for increasing student achievement on standardized tests by an average of 15-19%, as well as for improving professional culture and parent involvement at the campuses. In fact, the Annenberg study found that Austin Interfaith’s work with the schools benefited not only those particular campuses, but resulted in substantial new resources for all high poverty, low-performing schools in the district.
Wed Sep 2, 2009
Lake County United researched, developed and launched Waukegan to College, an intensive family-focused college readiness program in 2009. This fall the program has grown to 52 students from 30 families, with 10 students now in college. With guidance from a 12 member planning team, we have completed a strategic plan for Waukegan to College and will begin recruiting a board of directors to oversee the program as it spins off into its own stand alone non-profit roughly one year from now.
In the News
community organizing in Arizona, NAIC, Education, Secretary of State, Interfaith, Social Justice
North AZ Interfaith Rises to Challenge of AZ Education Funding Crisis
The Daily Courier
Friday, September 27, 2013
Northern Arizona Interfaith Council and about 800 teachers, school staff and community members, including business owners, filled the Mile High Middle School auditorium Wednesday night to talk about school funding for the three districts in the quad-city area...Special guests at the meeting included Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Rep. Karen Fann, and Prescott Valley Commercial Development Group chairman.
community organizing, Social Justice, Human Capital Development, Economic Development, Alinsky, Interfaith
Austin Leaders Leverage $2.38 Million for Youth & Young Adults
Austin American Statesman & others
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
“Austin Interfaith worked from the ground up to get its priorities included in the budget….It represents the interests of low-income families and has become a familiar presence at City Hall in recent years. Austin Interfaith leaders mobilized members to show up en masse to city budget hearings to plug these programs, meet with council members and bombard council offices with calls and emails in the days leading up to the final budget vote. The nonprofit was elated that council members agreed to spend money on all of Austin Interfaith’s priorities, totaling $2.4 million.”
Community Organizing for School Reform, Institutional Organizing, Public Schools, Nuns
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Several months ago, on a damp gray afternoon, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Racine, Wisconsin, just a few blocks from the Lake Michigan shoreline. That weekend a colleague and I would be conducting a leadership training session with teachers, parents, and community leaders...
School facilities bill grew from grass roots
Monday, May 20, 2013
Michael Dresser got it right in describing the trajectory of the Baltimore school facilities bill as going from "non-starter to law," but the story goes far beyond the elected and appointed officials who worked hard to make the deals and shepherd the legislation to passage ("City schools bill a political showpiece," May 17).
The deeper story must include the herculean efforts of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC), the innovative policy advocacy work done by the ACLU of Maryland and the powerful community organizing of groups like BUILD and Child First. Our elected officials don't do this by themselves. They were propelled to act by the incredible urgency and public will created by the BEC. BEC made the problem of broken-down, substandard schools real, laid out a vision for a solution and created the imperative so elected officials had to act.
Over the last three years, BEC organized hundreds of meetings in schools, neighborhoods and churches to train and mobilize leaders. Coalition members held dozens of meetings with elected officials, gaining commitments that decent school buildings would be their number one priority for 2013. BEC organized huge rallies in Annapolis including February's 3,000-person rally for new and renovated schools.
Common Ground backs plan to update school athletic facilities
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, April 22, 2013
Members of Common Ground, a community organization of churches, small businesses, nonprofits and neighborhood groups, on Sunday soundly backed a new initiative to upgrade school athletic facilities in Milwaukee County. The initiative is called the Fair Play Campaign. In a statement backed by more than 450 delegates, the group said it would propose designating a minimum of $150 million from any public financing plan for a new multipurpose arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The funds would be used to upgrade Milwaukee County public school athletic facilities and recreational spaces. "Today we are changing the conversation about how our monies are spent and what our priorities are," said Jennifer O'Hear, a parent of three children, two of whom are enrolled in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Thousands rally in Annapolis for billions to renovate, rebuild 65 Baltimore schools
The Washington Post
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Thousands of Baltimore City families petitioned lawmakers for billions in funding to renovate or rebuild about 65 of the school district’s crumbling buildings. Parents, students, teachers and community leaders rallied in Annapolis Monday evening for legislation that would create a block grant each year in the state budget for the city’s schools, enabling the city to leverage that to borrow more money. Supporters say the measure would create more than $1 billion to remodel the dilapidated infrastructure of several schools. Legislation has been filed in Annapolis to create the program.
Promises to keep: Seven mayoral candidates make school reform pledges, and many are underwhelming
New York Daily News
Sunday, March 3, 2013
At the mayoral forum sponsored last week by the Daily News and the Metro IAF citizens organization, Democrat Bill Thompson got to the heart of why we pressed the candidates to detail plans for the schools. He asked: “What defines success, not just in four years, each year. The chancellor and mayor need to be held accountable for that. We need to put that forward.” With very mixed success, the seven-member field attempted to accomplish that goal in front of an audience of about 1,000 New Yorkers gathered at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue.
Thousands rally in support of Baltimore schools
The Baltimore Sun
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Supporters of a $2.4 billion plan to rebuild Baltimore's crumbling schools made a show of support in Annapolis on Monday night as thousands of people staged a loud, festive rally outside the State House to urge passage of legislation to launch the program. Teachers, students, parents and others described deplorable conditions in city schools — ranging from disgusting bathrooms and broken windows to stifling classrooms and inadequate computer labs — as they called upon lawmakers to provide the resources to rebuild the state's oldest school buildings. "We're not asking for charity. We're not asking for a handout," said Yasmene Mumby, co-chairwoman of the Baltimore Education Coalition, which organized the rally. "We're asking to use existing state funds to renovate and reconstruct our school buildings efficiently, effectively and in a smarter way."
Community Organizing in New Mexico, Organizing in Albuquerque, organizing for urban school reform, organizing for public schools
Albuquerque Interfaith Challenges 'Trojan Horses' Undermining Schools
Friday, February 15, 2013
In the legend of the Trojan horse, Greeks capture Troy not by siege, but by stealth, under the cover of darkness, when raiders hidden in the hollow horse bring its downfall.
This is an apt metaphor for how public education in New Mexico is being privatized.
Charter Schools, Public Schools, Community Organizing in New Mexico, Community Organizing in Albuquerque, organizing for urban school reform
NM Bill Would Bar Private Firms From Running Public Schools
Friday, February 15, 2013
Rep. Mimi Stewart and Sen. Linda Lopez, both Albuquerque Democrats, joined the Rev. Trey Hammond of Albuquerque Interfaith, a faith-based community organizing effort, as well as a coalition of parents, students and public-school supporters, at a news conference Tuesday to announce the introduction of House Bill 460.
Austin Interfaith In-District Charter Proposal Wins Unanimous Support
Five Publications in Austin
Friday, January 18, 2013
"School board members have lauded the process that Travis Heights used to garner support for the transformation, which they approved last month. Unlike the district’s failed partnership with [another charter school]… the move to turn Travis Heights into a charter school had the enthusiastic backing of the school’s parents and teachers, joined by Austin Interfaith and Education Austin."
Travis Heights Will Be Austin District’s First Home-Grown Charter, Austin American Statesman
New Charter Gets School Board Blessing, KXAN (12/18)
organizing for urban school reform, organizing in El Paso, organizing in Texas, educational justice, educational equity, school funding
EPISO Leverages Commitments for Equity in School Funding
El Paso Times
Monday, October 29, 2012
More than 200 leaders of El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization assembled to challenge Clint Independent School District board candidates to “eliminate all disparities in per student funding throughout the district if elected….Challengers Claudia García, Sonia Herrera, Susana Santillan, Dino Coronado and incumbent Patricia Randleel participated at the nonpartisan accountability session at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Horizon City.”
[Photo Credit: Fernie Castillo, El Paso Times]
organizing for urban school reform, Pre-K, Voter Engagement, organizing in San Antonio, organizing in Texas, IAF
COPS / Metro Alliance Rallies in Support of Successful Bond for Pre-K
San Antonio Express-News
Monday, October 22, 2012
Approximately 1,000 people representing 35 church, school and union groups under the umbrella nonprofit Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance, held their own press conference and publicly committed to backing Pre-K 4 SA.
[Photo Credit: The Express-News, SA]
organizing for urban school reform, organizing in El Paso, organizing in Texas, IAF, educational justice, NCLB, testing
Border Interfaith Leverages Commitments on School Testing
KTSM - Channel 9 News
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Candidates for the U.S. Congressional 16th District of Texas, the Senate District 29 of Texas, Texas House of Representatives District 78 and for District 1 of the State Board of Education participated in Sunday’s candidate accountability session…organized by Border Interfaith at the San Judas Tadeo Catholic Church in the Upper Valley.
Supporters of Cleveland Schools levy rally voters ahead of November election
ABC News Channel 5
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
CLEVELAND - Supporters of the levy for Cleveland Public Schools are warning against laying off teachers, and a potential $50 million deficit. Over the weekend in an east side church basement, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers and concerned citizens met up for a voter registration drive.
organizing for urban school reform, organizing in El Paso, organizing in Texas, IAF, organizing for better schools, educational justice
EPISO Challenges School Spending and Representational Disparities
El Paso Times
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Before the board meeting on Wednesday, the El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization, or EPISO, and the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project argued that the district’s at-large elected board does not ensure equal representation throughout the communities it serves.
Organizing in Arizona, organizing in Phoenix, organizing for better neighborhoods, organizing for schools, organizing for children, fighting for libraries, fighting for community pools
VIP Restores $6 Million in Phoenix Budget for Youth & Children
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Earlier this year, a faith-based political-action group began putting pressure on Phoenix officials to reinstate some services after noting there was no additional funding planned for after-school programs in the initial version of the city's budget proposal.
Multifaith coalition urges Cleveland schools to restore programs
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Wednesday, November 30, 2011