Who are we?
With over 27,000 supporters, we are the largest Parent-Led Education Advocacy Group in Los Angeles.
Holding LAUSD accountable through direct action
Amplifying the voices of public school families
Advocating for the future of public schools in the LAUSD
An inclusive and welcoming space for hard conversations
In December of 2018, in Valley Village, California a group of parents at a local public elementary school gathered around a kitchen table to figure out what to do about the rumors they had been hearing indicating an impending teachers' strike. What did it mean? Why was it happening? And as parents, how could we help? One of those parents, Nicolle Fefferman, was also an LAUSD teacher and while teachers, backed by their union UTLA, were happy to have the support of parents, they were limited with what information they could share. So, we agreed that we would create a Facebook group for our small community to share information related to the strike, and on December 26, 2018, Parents Supporting Teachers (PST) was formed.
We started out by determining that the best way to support our teachers, was to keep our kids home from school. And so, we started posting, asking parents to do just that. What we didn't expect was what happened next. Thousands and thousands of parents and teachers across the district asked to join. Everyone had questions. Four of us (Samantha, Lisa, Nicolle and Jenna) were working round the clock approving members and monitoring content as we waited to find out what was coming next.
Once we found out the strike was happening we worked as a team to make fliers in multiple languages, visited schools to spread the word, hosted sign making events in different communities, and did multiple media appearances. Those days were busy, and then the strike actually began! Every day of the strike was spent at our local schools, while monitoring Facebook content at the same time. And the media! Our group appeared locally on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, Spectrum and nationally on Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, and in print all across the nation. And the supporters continued to grow. By January 10th we were at 10,000 members, when the strike began we were at 16,000, and by the end of the strike, we were at close to 24,000.
While we thought that was the end of PST, co-founders Jenna Schwartz and Nicolle Fefferman kept it going, and now proudly co-moderate the largest parent-led public school advocacy group. In 2021, Rachel Wagner joined the team as a group moderator. Bolstered by an incredible and dedicated base, we have had some amazing accomplishments.
United to support LA educators and staff in the fight for school resources and dignity for our communities
Elected School Board members Jackie Goldberg and Scott Schmerelson, both focused on supporting public schools
Offered resources, guidance and support for each other through a global crisis and distance learning
Shared and clarified important ideas and conversations about all things LAUSD
Forced the School Board to listen to parent and family voices
Provided our local and national media with REAL parent and family voices from the second largest school district in the US
Nicolle Fefferman, or "Feffita" as her students affectionately call her, is the mom of a 3rd grader and 7th grader in LAUSD and is a high school history teacher. She is a fierce advocate, and wicked smart. I couldn't do this with anyone else.
Jenna Schwartz or "The Jennaral" is a mom, activist, and parent leader at her children’s LAUSD schools. Jenna doesn’t just have all the ideas, she also knows how to make all the ideas into reality. Jenna is one of the smartest, funniest, and kindest, folks and I'm so glad to be her partner in PST.