Crystele, trust me, here in KY we feel your pain. The budget in Frankfort for the state cuts 100 million from education, including gifted and talented, pre k, textbooks, etc. So we still don't know how their numbers will impact our school board here in Louisville (where I live) or in our neighboring school districts. While the Rttt funds are a blessing...they are also a curse. Why? Because not every State is applying (see Texas) and furthermore, out of the states that do apply, there will only be a limited number awarded. While National PTA (and state and council/district ptas) advocate for our children, at times it is overwhelmingly frustrating. We should not have to fight this hard for our children to get a 21st century education. It should be the first priority on everyone's list which means the absolute last thing to face budget cuts. I would contact your ptas and see what they are doing and how you can help. www.illinoispta.org and www.pta.org (the national pta headquaters is in Chicago but is now relocating to Washington DC). There are so many great resources out there as well, edutopia, momsrising, nea, so that you can really get a sense of the national movements as well. Thankfully our President is really advocating for education, but those changes won't happen overnight, and if we don't pay attention, somethings might happen at the local level (like to refer to in Chicago) that will have an immediate negative impact as well as impact education in the long term.
The only gift is a portion of thyself - Ralph Waldo Emerson