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AFT NM 2020 Fall School Reentry Plan

A Year Like No Other

While there are a lot of different feelings and opinions about the upcoming school year, without question the 2020 academic year will be like no other we have experienced in our careers, or even our lifetimes.

We know the beginning of the academic year will not be without transitional challenges, especially since local districts and higher education institutions have wide discretion in the approaches they are able to take to educate students during the fall semester. Some districts and higher education institutions have already chosen to continue remote learning through the fall term, and some are waiting for further guidance from our Governor to plan their next steps towards increased hybrid, in-person instruction.

Our union, at a national, state, and local level, has been fighting to ensure local decisions are being made which not only balance your needs, but also the needs of the students and families we serve. We remain steadfast that all local educational decisions must prioritize the health and safety of the educational community. This prioritization is underscored by recent reports that almost three dozen separate educational sites across New Mexico have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 – even before many educational sites opened their doors to students.

Sharing more pathways to student debt relief

As the landscape of student debt shifts, and more and more opportunities allow borrowers to have their debt relieved, the AFT is using every avenue to ensure that the word is out. In affiliate meetings, telephone town halls, media coverage and social media, the union is spreading the news, and at a student debt clinic at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31, AFT President Randi Weingarten vowed to reach as many people as possible with information that could save them tens—and sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars.

Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

The AFT calls for freedom to teach

AFT President Randi Weingarten today delivered a major address on the crisis hollowing out the teaching profession—massive disinvestment in public education and deprofessionalization. In her speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., she called for reinvestment and freedom to teach. It was followed by two panels featuring education leaders who laid out pragmatic solutions.

Your vote is your voice

AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

‘Back to school’ like never before

In her September New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten says that going back to school has never looked like it does now. Weingarten explains that because of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has been chaotic, contradictory and inept, and the lack of federal guidance and funding, we’re seeing a patchwork of school reopening plans across the country.

AFT New Mexico Seeks Temporary Restraining Order Against Gallup-McKinley County School

American Federation of Teachers New Mexico 
Seeks Temporary Restraining Order 
Against Gallup-McKinley County Schools

Petitioners Seek District Compliance with NM Public Education Department Order

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              

August 7, 2020  

Contact:

John Dyrcz | 505-554-8679
Shane Youtz | 505-980-1590

AFT members dive into candidate endorsement process

As the presidential elections inch closer and the field of candidates gets more and more competitive, AFT members are engaging, parsing campaign platforms, asking questions of the candidates, and voicing their priorities as educators, healthcare practitioners and public employees. Thus far, the AFT has hosted eight AFT Votes town halls in eight different locations across the country, giving members the opportunity to meet candidates in person and hear about their stands on education, working families, healthcare and other top-line issues. Also part of the AFT’s robust endorsement process: surveys, debate parties and lots of information on AFTVotes.org.