We all know that educators make a difference. However, if you’re a teacher yourself, you may have questioned how much your voice really gets heard by those making the tough decisions, including how to use the $122.8 billion heading districts’ way thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
In Casper, Wyoming, teachers didn’t sit on their hands and wonder if they would be heard. They simply spoke louder.
A new feature on these outstanding educators describes how they spoke up to ensure that their children’s most urgent needs were met.
Before the pandemic, Natrona County—which includes Casper—had only one nurse for every two schools. Keeping up with the increased workload would have been impossible. But thanks to pandemic relief funds from the federal government and educators advocating for changes that matter, each of the district’s 28 schools now has a counselor and a nurse present every day.
The Natrona County Education Association (NCEA), Natrona County Public Schools administrators, and school board members worked together to ensure the funds were used in ways that would benefit students the most—including academic supports at the elementary level and HVAC improvements throughout the district’s buildings.
The importance of locals speaking out for our students cannot be overstated. COVID-19 has touched every community, but what they each need to rebound might be different.
You can read the rest of the story here.
Garris Stroud is an award-winning educator and writer from Greenville, Kentucky whose advocacy and scholarship have been recognized by USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Education Post, The Louisville Courier-Journal, and The Lexington Herald-Leader. He served as a Hope Street Group Kentucky State Teacher Fellow from 2017-2019 and became chair of the organization’s editorial board in 2018. Stroud is currently a doctoral student in educational leadership at the University of the Cumberlands, located in the heart of Kentucky’s Appalachian region. Contact him via email at [email protected].