In communities across the country, families are calling for fundamental changes to how our children are educated and an equity-infused recovery from the pandemic. Accountability is even more urgent now that K-12 schools have received over $122 billion in relief under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund and counting. We cannot allow school leaders and elected officials to squander billions of dollars that will determine educational outcomes for tens of millions of our children.
The National Parents Union (NPU) launched the watchdog campaign, Everyday Parents Impacting Change (EPIC), to shine a light on the degree to which elected officials are serving the interests of students, specifically related to the ARP ESSER funds. This is the moment to reimagine education! We don’t want to return to “normal.” We want to see bold changes in how our kids are educated.
EPIC’s three primary objectives are to:
- Demand transparency from federal, state and local elected officials.
- Ensure that school boards/districts are authentically engaging families in the decision-making process at every turn.
- Verify that funding is spent on student-centered investments that are rooted in access and equity for children most in need.
In service of our EPIC campaign objectives, NPU will:
- Conduct regular national, state and local polls to understand parent perceptions. Polling data will be shared broadly with elected officials, partners, advocates and parents.
- Collaborate with national partners to track state and district trends to understand whether the funds are being used for student-centered supports.
- Develop/execute calls-to-action campaigns (e.g. online petitions, letters to elected officials).
- Drive a national narrative based on polling and research that conveys the opportunity, problem and solution, and purpose of the coalition.
- Develop and disseminate key messages for target audiences (e.g., local, state and federal elected officials) through a variety of platforms (e.g., social media, news outlets, newsletters, etc.) to share best practices and expose bad decision-making.
- Pitch and secure national and local news stories. Identify and train local spokespeople (e.g., parents, students, partners, school leaders).
In close coordination with the national EPIC campaign, parents and advocacy organizations have the opportunity to engage other parents and advocates in local actions to hold school boards and districts accountable for transparently engaging families in decision-making. The city strategies will closely mirror those of our national efforts, but with a localized approach.
Scope of Work & Responsibilities
Grantees will be asked to help advance our EPIC campaign goals – including but not limited to – participating in the following actions.
- Attend and provide testimony related to ARP/ESSER at two monthly school board meetings from August-December..
- Capture photos, videos of school board meetings to share on social media and tag #ARPESSER.
- Share weekly EPIC social media content and engage in calls to action as provided by NPU.
- Recruit 5-10 parents to attend two monthly school board meetings (from August-December) and participate in EPIC related calls to action. Keep accurate records of participants.
- Host monthly meetings with parents (virtual or in-person) and provide training and resources related to ARP/ESSER messaging, how to meet with your school board members and more (training tools provided by NPU).
- Collect 5-10 parent testimonials (template provided by NPU).
- Proactively share school board plans and decision-making relevant to ARP/ESSER with the NPU team.
- Attend NPU hosted events/trainings related to EPIC.
- Develop, execute and track a budget and plan of action to achieve the objectives outlined above.
- Provide relevant documentation to receive compensation.
- Track and share your activities and expenditures in a spreadsheet provided by NPU.
Budget and Resources
Budget: NPU will award EPIC Campaign Grants up to $5,000 per grantee to spend exclusively on supporting local EPIC efforts from August – December 2022.
Resources: To support local EPIC campaign efforts, grantees will also receive the following resources:
- EPIC Campaign Toolkit (waivers, training and how-to guides, electronic sign-in sheet, etc.)
- Monthly parent polling data and trends
- Family friendly EPIC messaging materials, resources and templates (e.g., social media infographics, fact sheets, palm cards, flyers, etc.)
- Access to a national coalition of parents and partners who are part of the EPIC campaign
Grant Applications must be submitted to Deputy Director of Organizing Vivett Dukes by emailing [email protected] no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on June 6, 2022. Grant awards will be announced July 8, 2022. The project period for this grant is August – December 2022.
Process to Submit Your Grant Application
To apply for this grant, please download the application and submit no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on June 6, 2022.
Send completed Grant Applications to Vivett Dukes at [email protected].
Successful grantees must be eligible to work in the United States and will be required to provide a completed W9 to NPU upon approval of grant.
If you have any questions about the EPIC campaign or how to submit your grant application, please reach out to Vivett Dukes at [email protected].