WE MUST PUT CHILDREN FIRST!
Press Conference: April 27, 2011 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. [For the
Educational Rights of Homeless and ALL Children, and Support for Homeless
Child & Mother Tanya McDowell]
Norwalk Superior Court (Front)
17 Belven Avenue
Norwalk CT 06851
Hosted By: The CT’s Parent Union,
Support By: Your Black World Coalition and the ColorofChange.org
Confirmed Guest: Ohio Mom – Kelley Williams – Bolar (arrested in Ohio for
sending her children out of district to a better school)
Invited Guest: Dr. Boyce Watkins – Syracuse University Professor
And other education advocates.
What: On Thursday April 16, 2011, Tanya McDowell, a homeless mother was
arrested for sending her five year old son to another school district.
This is the second public case, in the last few months, whereas a mom was
arrested for sending their child to a high quality school. Kelley Williams
–Bolar of Ohio, being the first, was charged with first degree larceny for
sending her children to a school that produced better outcomes for
1. It is time to ensure homeless children and ALL children have access to
a great education
2. It is time to end laws that penalize and arrest parents for accessing
great public schools for their children
Why: High Quality Education Is Vital towards Stabilizing the Economy
There is an undisputed relationship between the level of educational
attainment and a states access to a qualified workforce. It is therefore
more vital than ever to support and protect effective public schools during this fiscal crisis and demand fiscal accountability and outcomes of low performing school.
Public policy makers must ensure all public schools are held to high
standards of educational excellence to ensure better outcomes for children.
If we fail to allow parents and students to access high quality schools we
place children and families on the trajectory of unemployment and long-term welfare dependency.
Note: Three years after the Great Recession began in December 2007, 6.6
million people have been added to the ranks of the unemployed, and demand
for assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP,
formerly known as food stamps) is at a record high. Although the U.S.
economy officially entered its recovery nearly twenty months ago, in July
of 2009, job growth continues to be slow and uneven. The unemployment rate
remains high at nearly 9 percent—though this rate varies considerably
across the country.
Note: During the throes of the recession, the number of homeless people in
the United States increased, and the number of homeless families increased
at an even greater rate, according to a report released Wednesday. The
findings by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, although not
surprising, confirm the harsh toll that the recession – which began in
December 2007 and ended in June 2009 – took on families. Historically,
people struggling with mental illness, substance abuse or other chronic
problems have been the focus of government homelessness efforts, and until
recently the number of such homeless people had been declining. But the
recession, which has led to rising unemployment and declining social
services, has slowed progress among the chronically homeless and increased
numbers of the newly homeless, among them many families, according to the