The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.
Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.
In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.
Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.
On Tuesday, October 11th and 12th, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) held their regularly scheduled October meetings. There was increased interest and scrutiny because of a few controversial issues on the agenda: funding and accountability.
FUNDING & RAISES
Tuesday’s committee meetings began with a public hearing to receive public recommendations regarding the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), which is the funding formula for Louisiana public schools. As expected, advocates from the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, the Louisiana School Boards Association, and
Special Message from President Carter
I want to thank all of LFT members for their dedicated service to the students of Louisiana. I know that this year has been difficult and when I look around this state and see so many teachers and school employees finding success and joy in the midst of difficulty, I feel inspired. But we cannot overlook that the role of teachers is rapidly evolving, becoming in many ways more difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted education systems across Louisiana, the country, and around the world; changing what classrooms and learning looks like on a daily basis. All school personnel have had to navigate a constantly shifting landscape with the health of students, teachers, paraprofessionals, office professions, custodial staff, food service staff, bus drivers, and the community at large at stake.
Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees (LFT) has joined with Louisiana Association of Educators (LEA), Louisiana Association of Principals (LAP), Louisiana Association of Superintendents (LASS), Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) and Louisiana Retired Teachers Association (LRTA) to host a series of town halls all accross the point. The new partnership is known as the Louisiana Public School Coalition.