Petition Tag - education

301. We Unite Against Texas Education Budget Cuts

Funding for public and higher education was allotted the most money for the 2010-2011 budget, suggesting its importance. So why cut the funding? By significantly reducing funding for education, you will be putting thousands of teachers and faculty (including janitors and bus drivers) out of work.

By decreasing funding, you will be decreasing the amount of educational programs students in both public and higher education receive. More notably, as minority students have continuously been adversely affected by a lack of funding in education (including overpopulated classrooms, a scarcity of decent technology, facilities, after-school programs, and scholarships), decreasing the already insufficient amount will only increase the inadequacies for us.

As a minority college student, I am relying on financial aid to complete my higher learning. Cutting into these funds will not only raise tuition and reduce student services, but it will prevent me from completing my last year of college.

Education is the most important thing you can offer the students of Texas, the future of this great state. Being that all of you needed education to get to where you are today, I am sure you understand how critical it is to our society. Without it, there would be no government officials like you. Your current budget (allotting $75.4 billion, the largest amount, to education) proves that you realize this, but your current actions represent the contrary. Did education all of a sudden lose its value? We all realize economic times are currently very difficult, but should our current economy be the determinant of a successful future?

I see a future of educated Texans with technological, political, artistic, scientific, and business success, increasingly boosting the economy of Texas. But this bright future can only be realized if you, the people we trust, the people we elected, do not turn your backs on us. If you do, you will be essentially hindering the economy of the future. If you do, you will be preventing future lawyers and doctors from graduating, the next government officials from running this state.

We challenge you to instead:
o Balance the $3.2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund with other alternatives to avoid making large cuts in the education budget that will prevent new recipients of Texas Grants (which largely fund the college education of minority students)
o Spend less on underused areas of the budget
o Generate revenue to offset costs
o Instead of allowing public schools to take up electricity during the summer and other holidays, use the buildings for activities and events to generate revenue when school is not in session.
o Increase taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and other non-necessities.

302. Keep our classes small!

There is substantive research in the field of education delineating the positive effects of smaller class sizes on student achievement. During this budget crisis, laying off teachers and conflating classrooms is not the answer--as California struggles to make sure ALL students reach proficiency, we must look for other ways to make up the budget shortfall aside from pink slipping teachers and raising the student-teacher ratio.

Research: notebook.lausd.net/pls/ptl/docs/PAGE/CA.../CSR_22702.PDF (The Impact of Class Size Reduction on Student Achievement, by Penny Fidler, Ph.D.); www.heros-inc.org/star-hs-p.pdf (EFFECTS OF CLASS-SIZE REDUCTION IN THE EARLY GRADES (K-3)
ON HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMANCE, by Helen Pate-Bain et. al.)

303. Support Canadian National Child Care

We are calling on you to work together to honor the promise of a national child care program to all Canadian families and children. Canada’s children and families deserve the right to a National Child Care System. November 2009 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Canada still scores LAST amongst industrialized nations in our provision of early childhood education and care and family support policies.

The place to start is by protecting the early learning and child care agreements between the Government of Canada and the provinces. While income support for families is a valid policy goal, a taxable family allowance and a tax credit for employers will not create early learning and child care services that are high quality, available and affordable.

Families need income supports and publicly funded child care services. By supporting families with affordable, high-quality options for early childhood learning and care will benefit child development and the social and economic well-being of communities. The variations of policy across Canadian provinces has only allowed Canadians to create a disjointed system and framework, which results in inequalities for our children and families across the nation. We call on all governments to protect and enhance progress on creating a framework to support a National Child Care System.

Children in Canada and their families need high-quality, accessible, inclusive and PUBLICLY FUNDED early education and care for their children. Canada has made many attempts at implementing a national publicly funded system, but have failed each time. We hope that this will be our last attempt because we WILL succeed in convincing our government to take responsibility for Canadian children, and to give our families a real choice in the care and education of their children.

It is time for Canadians to demand a system that values children and families, and makes early childhood education and care a fundamental part of our country. We need to ask our government to commit to building the child care system that Canadians want.

Please add your name to this petition and forward to everyone who you know. The children are our future.

We will be holding a rally in Toronto on March 8th, 2011, and encourage our neighboring cities, provinces and territories to follow our lead.

For more information, or to get involved, please email us at nationalchildcarenow@gmail.com

304. Stop Townley School Closing

This Does Not Benefit Our Children!

Not only would it cause hardship on our sister schools, our children, their families, and faculty but it would be destructive to the community has a whole…

WCBOE needs to reconsider closing our school and think about the future generations.

305. Save Preston Playgroup

Our local playgroup has been running at Rivaldsgreen Centre for over 30 years. The playgroup faces closure after snow damaged the building.

A repaired Rivaldsgreen Centre (mostly covered by insurance) would provide much needed space for the playgroup and other community groups. Please sign to help keep our playgroup and keep it local. Thank you!

306. Save Fife Classroom Assistants

Classroom Assistants and Clerical Staff were called to a meeting today with their Head teachers today (9th February 2011) and we were advised that we should be aware of the next set of job cuts to come from Fife Council. We were told to expect cuts in our hours, and a possibility of redundancies.

So once again education is being hit hard. First the playground supervisors, now lollipop men/women, classroom assistants and clerical staff but, who is it that is going to suffer? Not the powers that be at Fife Council who are making all these decisions but the children. Do the people who make these decisions have any idea how a school is run and just how much support staff are required to run the school effectively? Have they come in and shadowed a classroom assistant to see what their role entails?

Gone are the days of cleaning out paint pots. I personally feel we make a huge difference in schools. Why not ask the Head teachers and the teachers to see how they would feel if they lost the support of their classroom assistant. I also urge parents to question this decision because it's their children who will not be getting the extra support that some of them may require to keep them on task. We don't want to go back years ago when children just slipped through the net because there was not enough staff to support the needs of the school.

We work with children of all abilities including the same children that a Pupil  Support 2 works with (who are on a higher grade) but I do it because that is what the needs of my school are and at the end of the day we are there to support the teacher and the pupils. 

307. We prefer and support the existing faith based education system in Morinville and Legal, AB.

We are very satisfied with the education and educational environment that our children receive in the Morinville and Legal education system and we prefer and support the current faith based educational system, for the following reasons:

We are a diverse group, Catholic AND Non-Catholic who recognize and favor the high quality education that is provided by the GSACRD education system and we appreciate the inclusion of traditional celebrations such as of Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas, Easter and the like. We DO NOT support the elimination of these;

We also believe that the students should continue to have opportunities to celebrate achievements, demonstrate citizenship, good character, and build a sense of community. We do not believe that these notions are particular to only Catholic students, but are common to all families regardless of faith or religious belief;

We believe exercises and activities, for the most part, are non-faith specific and that various groups are represented in order to serve all families in the region;

We recognize that a substantial portion of the school community are not Catholics, practicing or otherwise, and notwithstanding, we continue to see a sizable number of students (majority), of various denominations, enrolled in a formal religion class;

Alternatives are provided for those choosing not to participate in such a class. We do not believe that the current system serves to indoctrinate the student community;

We all wish to foster an environment of acceptance for our children and families in the school division. We believe that a faith based education helps to achieve such a goal;

As well, Catholic and non-Catholic families alike, have indicated a very high level of satisfaction with the current system when surveyed. This is evident in the survey results which are deservedly and consistently very high and award winning.

308. Texans Against Higher Education Budget Cuts

Both the Texas House and Senate are proposing cuts in Higher Education funding for student financial aid. The aforementioned budget proposal will either completely remove or reduce a significant portion of the financial aid, therefore making aid inaccessible to Texas Students.

We are already facing fiscal issues due to the current state of the Texas economy and it is not acceptable for the state to reduce our source of funding. Student tuition will rise drastically, important courses will be eliminated, student services will be reduced and many more significant factors of our education will be either completely removed or will face funding reduction.

So, we are requesting that Texans unite as one voice in this great state and say NO to these inappropriate budget cuts.

Join us in the fight in state mandated funding cuts, and be a part of the collective voice that can influence your university and the future of Higher education in the State of Texas.

309. Stop The Decrease in Military Educational Benefits for Vets

New Post 9/11 GI Bill taking effect lowers our annual cap to $17,500. When previously capped at over $20,000 annually for vets receiving 100% of GI Bill benefits.

The previous cap was enough to attend a majority of U.S. educational institutions with no out of pocket expenses for example flight costs for pilot bound degree seeking students.

Pilot expenses are usually charged $300-$450/hr. Our previous cap at over $20,000 annually with Yellow Ribbon Program benefits covered all tuitional costs, whereas our new cap at $17,500 causes us to pay out of pocket expenses.

310. Save Essex School Bus Escorts

Essex County Council has announced to parents that it is to make it's school bus escorts redundant from Easter 2011.

It's decision raises many safety concerns with the County's parents and we are urging them to reverse their decision.

311. Sponsoring - Practice of Nonviolence in our Schools

The Gandhi King Chavez Season of Nonviolence, Jan 30th to April 4th. The 14th Season, 2011, Theme - The Spirit of Peace Building

A national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities.

Inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this international event honors their vision for an empowered, nonviolent world.

312. Stop the Practice of Weighing our Children in Schools

Texas Education Code, 38.101 and 38.103, requires that the fitness levels of all students in grades 3-12 be assessed at least once annually and that school districts submit the results to the Texas Education Agency each school year. The TEA identified FITNESSGRAM® as the assessment tool to be used by all school districts starting in the 2007-2008 school year.

Part of the FitnessGram includes weighing children. In many schools this information is given to the students who then share their weight among their peers. This leads to bullying and harms children prone to eating disorders.

In March 2009, it was reported by the TEA that the study found that cardiovascular health, measured by a walking/running test, had a higher correlation to school success than did the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight, adjusted for age and gender.

313. Support Veteran Educational Benefits (Post 9/11)

There are many veterans who are having issues with their Educational Benefits & it has become so overwhelming, especially during a time where unemployment rates are high & that alone clearly creates an unstable economy.

Myself & others have been responding on FaceBook about issues with our educational benefits & the hardships we face. The main issue has been communication between Veterans & VA representatives. There really is no excuse why VA has not kept an open dialog with Veterans. Veterans coming home from war has been treated unfairly, & till this day, they still haven't gotten it right.

Veterans should not overwhelmed about how they are going to support the very families who have also sacrificed. They should not be left waiting on the phones, standing in long lines at the VA offices, given 20 pages of different websites to find a job & then when you get on the site, It takes an hour to search what you're looking for, & then find out all the red tape you have to go through just to see if you qualify.

Honestly, I say its time to speak out. Please read the facebook stories from Veterans. Contact the VA representatives who have also heard from other Veterans about their concerns. Let them tell you how overwhelmed they have been.

314. Review College Jobs application systems

As a student fresh out of college I am extremely frustrated looking for a job. Despite the fact that I may have equivalent experience through my education to enable me to work jobs such as an administrative assistant the computer systems do not take that into consideration and I get kicked out before anyone even looks at my resume.

If people wonder why college kids have such trouble finding decent jobs, this is why. I once got a rejection letter 10 minutes before I submitted my application.

315. Save Acol Children's Centre

As part of their proposed cuts to Early Years Services for pre-school children, Camden Council plan to close two directly-funded Children's Centres in the Borough.

One of these is Acol Children's Centre in Acol Road, London NW6, an 'outstanding' Ofsted-rated, centre with nearly 25 years' history serving the community of South and West Hampstead, Kilburn and surrounding areas.

Hundreds of local children have received wonderful pre-school care and education at Acol, and it continues to be hugely popular and over-subscribed, with six children on the waiting list for every place available.

We feel very strongly that there is a continuing and ever-growing demand in the area for the kind of affordable and high-quality childcare Acol provides, and are campaigning to persuade Camden Council to change their minds and keep it open for our community.

316. Support Free Schools

There is a concerted campaign by Unions (eg NUT) and others against the creation of new Free Schools in the UK.

The government and all those involved in creating Free Schools should feel encouraged to keep going in the face of this opposition.

317. Adoptees, The Forgotten Ones

We will present all World Leaders with the signatures plus the stories of adoptees to make them give every adoptee the right to know their heritage. Can you imagine looking in the mirror and not knowing who looks back at you or developing a serious illness and wondering if you had known your family history, it could have been treated earlier?

Can you imagine living your whole life asking who you are and being too scared to ask in case you offend someone? Help adoptees have the same human rights as any other human being - knowledge of their heritage.

Let's stop World Leaders brushing all this under the carpet and force them to change legislation that will help give adoptees back the lives they were born with.

We want sealed adoption files opened, lost information found in all countries and our heritage returned to us.

We want to stop being punished for something that was totally out of our control when we were babies. We accept no more guilt and ask that we be given open access to our documents and free DNA testing when it is asked for.

We want all these issues dealt with, but we need YOUR help. Please sign our petition so our plight can be brought to the attention of our World Leaders

318. Aberdeen Education in Crisis

Councillors in Aberdeen City are proposing to slash the number of Pupil Support Assistants. This will have a devastating effect on children's education in Aberdeen.

There has been no consultation with parents on the proposal. Pupil Support Assistants provide a vital service which must be sustained to ensure that all children in Aberdeen are supported and encouraged to fulfil their potential.

Cutting the service will ultimately exclude some children from education, which is thier right.

319. Prepare primary school teachers to teach in all types of schools

Recent reports from the Teaching Council highlight the significant amount of their time that students in the five Colleges in Education spend preparing to teach denominational religious education. This is unfair because:

- people who do not hold specific Roman Catholic or Protestant religious beliefs are expected to engage in faith formation if they wish to become primary school teachers;

- newly qualified teachers leave college without preparation to teach in Educate Together schools; the fastest-growing sector in Irish education.

Join with us to call on the Minister for Education and Skills to redress this imbalance and to ensure that people of all backgrounds are equally respected in the Colleges, and that students are properly prepared to teach in any school type.

*If you are a teacher or student, please make sure to leave a comment about your experience.

320. Stop Education Maintenance Allowance Cuts

Education maintenance allowance will be scrapped to fund the compulsory education to under-19s.

The government plans to scrap the scheme in England, which is aimed at encouraging poorer pupils to stay in education, from September next year. Supporters of the EMA, which is worth up to £30 a week, say it stops thousands of students dropping out. This cut will hit some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society.

However, ministers say it is an inefficient scheme.

Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to axe the scheme in the spending review, saying it had very high "dead weight costs".

There are no plans to cut the similar schemes that operate in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

321. Continue Offering 15-102: Exploring Programming with Graphics

15-102: Exploring Programming with Graphics is an introductory programming course. It uses graphics to present and study traditional programming constructs and fundamental algorithms in an intuitive and visually awarding way.

This is especially beneficial for students who have no prior programming experience and are visual learners. Moreover, the course provides students with the ability to "see" their code and produce advanced graphic results in relation to programming knowledge. This, in turn, makes programming enjoyable for students even when they don't plan on taking another computer science course in the future.

However, the course is being discontinued after the spring semester (S11). I personally believe that 15-102 is an invaluable introductory course, particularly for students who only need one semester of programming. The graphic feedback makes programming accessible and less daunting to learn. Furthermore, Jim Roberts, the professor, is truly passionate about the course and dedicated to help his students learn as much programming as possible.

My experience with the course was one of the best I've had at Carnegie Mellon - I hope future students may have this opportunity as well.

322. Keep the BFI Library together and accessible

Late in 2010, the British Film Institute’s (BFI) senior management proposed splitting the BFI’s collection of printed works (books, journals and the like) and establishing “digital delivery” to users at the BFI site on the London Southbank with much of the collection physically to be held at the BFI’s Berkhamsted site – about 30 miles north of London and with more than a mile walk (no public transport) between the BFI site and the nearest railway station.

Despite the BFI management claiming that the Library is “core” to the BFI’s collections and that “Developing access to collections continues to be a key goal” the proposed move will worsen access – particularly for those living outside London. Library users value both the integration of the collection and its location. In 2002, the BFI commissioned a consultants’ report which found users valued “ease of access” more than anything else; more than 70% of users said a central London location was very important – and a further 21% said it was quite important. Three quarters of respondents said they would be unlikely to travel to Berkhamsted to use the collections if they were moved there.

Splitting the BFI Library and moving much of it to Berkhamsted will drastically reduce the usefulness and usability of what’s generally agreed to be the world’s best collection of printed materials on the moving image. The BFI management’s plans will drastically damage its usefulness and effectiveness as an instrument through which the BFI has been able to discharge successfully key parts of its mission. If the BFI cannot maintain the integrity and accessibility of its collection of printed materials it must find another agency which can.

Please therefore sign the petition and encourage other past, present and future users of the BFI Library to do so.

Details of developments are usually to be found on the bfiwatch blog at http://bfiwatch.wordpress.com/

323. Educate Senior school children about Special needs and disabilities

Disability is now supported in the workplace yet many young people are being picked on at school. This is because many young people do not understand these conditions. Autism and ADHD are now VERY common yet our children have no idea about them and nor do many adults. Please sign and support if you believe it should be part of the National Curriculum for children to learn about Special Needs and Disabilities in school.

I have a son who has ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome and know how hard it is for many children with special needs in Senior School in the United Kingdom because there is little or no understanding.

324. Improve lipreading classes for people with hearing loss

Lipreading is a vital communication skill for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It helps to build confidence and independence, avoid social isolation and keep people in employment. Lipreading is a useful coping mechanism for the full spectrum of hearing loss and can be used to supplement hearing aids to maximise communication skills.

The best way to learn to lipread is through regular classes by a qualified tutor. However an RNID report found that in England there are too few classes and many people with a hearing loss are unable to attend. Many classes have closed and many more are threatened with closure. This is because the vital skill of lipreading is classified as a ‘leisure’ activity meaning that little central funding is available to run the classes and learners are expected to pay high fees.

RNID, the charity taking action on hearing loss, is calling on the Government to reclassify lipreading as an ‘essential’ skill so more people can attend a class that is available at little to no cost to them.

Please sign our petition to show your support for people with a hearing loss to have access to learn this vital skill or their communication and encourage others to do so.

325. Save Whitley Excellence Cluster

Reading Borough Council is currently proposing to cease funding for the Whitley Excellence Cluster, despite the increase in attainment and aspiration that it has been shown to lead to.

This petition was presented to Reading Borough Council on 14th February and received extensive local press coverage.

There were over 600 paper based signatures as well as the online ones

Unfortunately the lead councillor for education, Cllr Mark Ralph was not willing to take any action to support the continuing work.

This is despite the impact he acknowledged it has had on education in the area.

This petition doesn't ask Reading Borough council to keep necessarily keep funding at the existing level, but for them to stop being complacent and to act now find a way to protect this essential support to children in South Reading.

However the campaign will continue and we will look for other ways to support South Reading's schools, so please sign and we will send you occasional updates.

Please also take a look at the website.

326. Ma'at School of Excellence Petition

The British Londoners Business Community is an organising body consisting of experienced teachers and professionals who are keen to break the cycle of failing schools and high levels of school exclusion. We currently have volunteered our time and skills to collectively develop our proposal for a community school of excellence.

We are based in the Brent area of North West London, which is where we propose to launch this school.

Aim of School:
To develop culturally, spiritually, morally, aspirational adults whose vision will be to impact the global community through achievement and strong leadership.

Objectives:
To ensure the existence and promotion of an ethos which delivers social justice through mutual respect and tolerance of, and for each other, leading to self enrichment gained from understanding differences embraced within our community.

To find out more about us or if you would like to get involved, please visit our website http://www.maatse.co.uk

327. Elimination of Racism in Education

Racism is not only found in racial discrimination, but also in the denial of proper education to minorities. The "low-income" schools are very poor and have little funding to help support students in attaining a good education. In raising the funding, the schools can build better facilities, hire more teachers, and provide for a better learning experience of minority students.

This petition is intended to show school boards of various school districts that providing funding to "low-income" schools is extremely important and supported by the public.

328. Statement on anti-education cuts action for Thursday 9th December

Thursday 9th December is the date that the Government has determined for the debate on the raising of the fee cap. The University and Colleges Union (UCU) and the National Union of Students (NUS) have called for a mass lobby of Parliament on that day, and are coordinating transport to that end.

The University of London Union (ULU) and the Education Activists' Network (EAN) have called a demonstration from Malet Street to Parliament. It is supported by the London Region of UCU.

At the UCU's Higher Education Sector Conference an emergency motion was adopted without opposition which called for congratulations to the students who had led the campaign against the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance and against the raising of fees to £9,000. It also called for a national mobilisation for a London demonstration and lobby of Parliament on the day that raising the fee cap was to be debated.

It is unfortunate that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the UCU has not been able to meet at this crucial time to consider this and other proposals for resisting the Government's policy on Further and Higher Education.

329. Say "No" to further pension changes

ATL believes modestly-paid education staff deserve good pensions as part of a fair remuneration package with enough income to live independently and with dignity in retirement.

The coalition government plans huge reforms to public sector pensions, potentially telling education professionals:

You must pay more for your pension;

You must work longer before getting it;

You will get less money in retirement;

Say no to paying more, working longer, getting less!

Sign this petition to join ATL in speaking out for pensions; rejecting attempts to force reform on recently reviewed schemes; and telling the coalition government that this triple whammy of change is unacceptable.

330. Stop Ikea using palm oil

Palm oil is in 1 in 10 productson British shelves. It is grown in tropical countries in South East Asia, Africa and South America. Large tracts of rainforest are cut down to provide plantations to grow palm oil.

It is used since it is cheap to produce but it is very environmentally damaging to rainforest species of plants and animals including big cats and primates. It is often labelled in a deceptive way when in products using scientific names and euphemisms.

Ikea, which claims to have an environmental and sustainability promise use palm oil in their candles. This extremely environmentally destructive behaviour is disappointing in a company that puts itself forward as being ethical in every way.

MASC is a charity set up to educate children and adults in the West about what effects their choices in shopping have on environments far removed and easily forgotten from themselves.