In nearly 75 cities across the country, students, parents, and teachers marched at their public schools , protesting inadequate funding and charter school takeover, issues that especially affect black and Latino students in urban areas.
The organization Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools is behind the "walk in" demonstrations, and it's made up of large-scale organizations, such as teachers unions, and local community groups. The walk-ins began last spring and have doubled in size since February.
The alliance's executive director, Keron Blair, said that when charter schools replace public schools, parents lose their ability to vote on school board members—something, he argues, that hurts society at large. "We have to invest in public education if we want to fortify our democratic society," he said. "The two go hand in hand."
Charter schools have exploded in popularity since the 1990s; data shows that today nearly 5 percent of all public school students attend one. Charters receive funding that many educators feel should go only toward traditional public schools.
"People are seeing and hearing and saying, 'We want to walk in,'" Blair said. "Resources are being pulled out of the public sector and privatized…The very people they're supposed to help have no say," Blair said.