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Baptist Pastors & Ministers Conference of Omaha Statement Supporting Public Schools

We the members of the Baptist Pastor's and Ministers Conference of Omaha, want to take time to speak in favor of Nebraska's public-school children, teachers, and administrators. We pledge support for public Schools because while not perfect, public schools most effectively address the educational needs and civil rights of all children and eliminate the achievement gap for those facing challenges related to poverty, limited English speaking ability, inadequate education in their country of origin, or disabilities. Only the public schools are legally required to accept and retain all students, no matter their race, no matter their religion, no matter their educational attainment, social class, family income, special needs, or personal characteristics.

Only the public schools must guarantee that—within a legally enforceable range—the amount spent on each student will be equal from school to school within communities and across the state where those students reside.

We recognize financial commitment is necessary in order to properly fund and resource our teachers, schools, and students. Therefore, we call for the full funding of the TEEOSA school funding formula, and reject the false notion that schools are "failing" or not caring for our students. We urge the full support of public schools by our State and Local governments in lieu of other alternatives.

We believe a free public education is a moral good that is vital to our state's wellbeing and requires adequate investment to ensure thriving communities. We believe public school children are God's children who deserve the nurture of a good society, the prospect for a good education and the equal opportunity for a good life in Nebraska.

The proliferation of school privatization is an attempt to redistribute public education resources from the most underfunded districts into the hands of private profiteers.

Therefore, we resolve to support and advocate for a just society. A just society will ensure that every child has an opportunity for a great education and that public schools have the resources and funding necessary to provide such an opportunity, achieving the highest standards possible.

As signed by: Rev. Terry Arvie, Rev. Walter Jones, Rev. James Temple, Rev. Clarence Barlow, Rev. Brian Page, Rev. Raymond Hill, Rev. T. Michael Williams, Rev. Dr. Ralph Lassiter

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