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PEER Overview

WHO WE ARE

    PEER is a state-driven network fighting for education equity, an end to the ongoing divestment of public education and racially-just public schools. Strong public schools are essential to strong communities: our schools belong to the parents who support them, the educators and staff who work in them, the students who learn in them, and the communities that they anchor.

    PEER currently partners with state coalitions and campaigns in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. Our model brings together lawyers, organizers, tax and budget experts, advocates and community leaders to counter the false narrative of “failed public schools” and advance innovative state and local solutions for full and fair public school funding. PEER and our state partners are committed to centering community and student leadership in our campaigns and working to build community and student power.

    We are grateful for support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Resource Equity Funders Collaborative and the Yellow Chair Foundation.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

  • Public education is an essential cornerstone of our society, and sufficient funding and other resources will help provide every child with the opportunity to achieve success.
  • Underfunding and uneven distribution of resources, and support for privatization of education disproportionally impacts students of color and young people living in poverty and favors schools in middle- and upper-income communities and systems and policies that punish individuals instead of supporting students.
  • Racist and oppressive policies have played and continue to play a substantial role in shaping our education systems.
  • With full and equitable funding, schools will be able to provide students with a learning environment that positions them to succeed, including modern facilities, use of technology and up to date learning materials and increased access to support staff, including counselors, social services, mental health and special education staff.

WHAT WE DO

  • PEER works across state lines to expand educational opportunity for underrepresented youth, and build a national movement focused on reinvesting in public schools and communities.
  • Through strong grassroots mobilization, PEER supports state coalitions in building power and expanding opportunities for community members to take direct action in their state, demand increased school funding and uplift student voices that have long gone unheard.
  • PEER provides a space for state partners to discuss education policies impacting communities and students. We share pro-equity policy and legislation, litigation and legal strategies, organizing tactics and progressive budget and tax policies.
  • State coalitions lead PEER in identify and securing the collective resources needed for effective campaigns and coalitions committed to long-term partnership with communities, families and students.