5¢ Makes Sense and #HearOurEdStories

Social Campaign ToolKit


This toolkit will equip you to start an online conversation
about raising the federal education budget in the United
States. Our long term goal is to increase federal education
investments to 5 percent of the budget. The campaign’s
official hashtag is


Step by Step Instructions on
How to Engage Online
We put together instructions on how to participate in
a social media campaign using personal videos and a
call to action.

Sample Post
In addition to the step by step instructions in this
toolkit, we developed a few draft posts that
participants can mimic or draw inspiration from.

List of Elected Officials’ Accounts to Tag
This toolkit shows you how to identify and tag your
federal elected officials in your posts.
Click Here for 118th Congress Social Media List



1. Tell Members of Congress why federal education funding is important to you.
2. Ask them to increase federal investments in education.
3. Support the education community – teachers, administrators, parents, students, etc. – in telling their stories.

Link to more CEF information:


Using the power and reach of social
media, our collective voices will be heard
and recognized by millions of Americans
including influential policy makers,
journalists, business executives and civic


We are asking for your help in urging Congress to increase federal education funding —
investments that make a real difference every day in the lives of students, teachers, families, schools
and communities. Education funding currently accounts for about two percent of the federal budget
and is crucial to preparing students to become active participants in the 21st century global
economy. Our goal is to increase federal education investments to 5 percent of the budget — the
call to action for our “#5Cents4EdFunding” campaign.

By using social media to share personal stories about the impact of federal education funding on
people’s lives, we can influence policymakers, elevate important education funding issues and
mobilize grassroots support to advocate for vital investments in education.

Creating your personal message and engaging in this campaign matters. Policymakers are
influenced by what their constituents want, and this campaign’s goal is to have Congress
“#HearOurEdStories” and your needs loud and clear.

This toolkit allows teachers, students, administrators, parents and anyone else involved in
education to easily communicate the importance of federal investments in education. The following
sections give you the tools to share your personal story in a meaningful way.

If you’d like additional information or help with participating in this campaign, please email us at:

Instructions on what you can do to engage online
Make a short video or write a message telling your two U.S. Senators and your Representative about your experience in the education community and how it is responding to the pandemic.  Tell them how a greater federal investment in education would make a big difference (see sample message below).

Share the video or written message on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (see sample post below).

Tag CEF (@edfunding on Twitter and Instagram, @cmte4edfunding on Facebook) and your two U.S. Senators and your Representative

Use #HearOurEdStories and #5cents4edfunding so we can find your message and share it!

Sample message to record

My name is [INSERT FIRST (and last name if you feel comfortable)], I’m from [CITY, STATE] and I am a [PARENT, STUDENT, TEACHER, CHILD CARE PROVIDER, COUNSELOR, LIBRARIAN, ADMINISTRATOR, ETC.]. Federal education funding [OR INSERT SPECIFIC PROGRAM] helps me [INSERT HOW] and without it I [INSERT THE CONSEQUENCES OF LOWER THAN NEEDED FUNDING]. Increased funding for education will have a big impact on learning and teaching. Post-pandemic needs are greater than ever so now is the time to invest in education after a decade of underfunding. This is my education story and I know I am not alone, which is why I am asking my Representative and Senators to support greater investments in education for the coming year.

Sample Post

I’m urging my Members of Congress to support the largest possible education investments for FY 2024. The need for federal education support is greater than ever. #HearOurEdStories @edfunding @ @ @


How To Find Your Elected Officials' Account To Tag

If you aren’t sure who your Senators and Representative are, you can find that information on this website. The search result on this website will also provide you with most elected officials’ Twitter handles.

Click here to view the List of Elected Officials’ Accounts to tag

Why 5¢ Makes Sense:

Increase our Investment in Education to 5 Cents of Every Federal Dollar

Investing in education builds a stronger nation.
We need a well-trained and educated workforce ready to compete in a global economy and support our military.
The best way to reduce the deficit is to spur economic growth.
Yet we can’t run businesses, schools and universities, or the public sector if our children don’t grow into adults equipped with the tools they need to succeed.
Funding for K-12 education is less than before the 2008 recession in some states
In 2017 (the latest year for which there is data), state and local education funding in seven states was still 10% below the 2008 pre-recession level in inflation-adjusted terms, cutting the largest source of support for elementary and secondary education. Federal funding has not filled the gap; current FY 2020 K-12 funding level is $4.3 billion below the FY 2008 in inflation-adjusted dollars even as student enrollment has increased over the period.
The United States spends only 2¢ of every federal dollar on education.
A budget should reflect our values, yet only about 2 percent of the federal budget is for education. Education programs have already been the target of deep cuts; Congress has eliminated 50 education programs since 2010. In fact, current funding for the Department of Education is still below what it was 7years ago, excluding the Pell Grant program.
$1 invested in early childhood education saves at least $7 down the road.
Yet Head Start, the largest federal early childhood education program, is so underfunded that it can serve only 4 out of every 10 eligible children from low-income families.
Earning a college degree increases the average salary by one and half and cuts unemployment rates in half compared with stopping with just a high school degree.
Yet federal student aid has failed to keep pace with inflation, never mind the rate at which college costs have increased in recent years. Increases in federal student aid programs allow low-income students to receive more grant aid to help them enter and finish their degree faster without borrowing more and graduating with more debt.
The U.S. requires that all students with disabilities have access to a free, appropriate public education.
In return, the federal government pledged to cover up to 40% of the additional cost associated with educating students with disabilities. Sadly, the federal share has never reached even half of that commitment — reaching an all-time high of 18% through annual appropriations in 2005 — and currently only covers 16% of the additional cost associated with educating students with disabilities.

Education Accounts for Just 2% of All Federal Spending

Education Accounts for Just 2% of All Federal Spending

Download PDF

View a multi-page PDF file of the full “5 Cents Makes Sense” document, with additional stats and charts.



Social Media Toolkit to let Congress know why education funding matters to you

CEF Events

CEF Gala – September 13, 2023
Reception and awards banquet at National Press Club Ballroom

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CEF Budget Book

Access CEF’s analyses of the President’s budget request from 2011 to the present.