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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.

‘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.

Weingarten: Educators must save democracy

“Teachers have always had power,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd at the TEACH opening plenary Thursday afternoon. “We need to own our power. And we need to build our power so we can move our agenda—for our students and our families; for safe, welcoming and well-funded public schools; for affordable higher education; healthcare that is a right, not a privilege; a living wage; a decent retirement; a healthy climate and a strong democracy.”

Best economy ever?

In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column in the New York Times, she writes that, despite President Trump’s claims that we have the “best economy ever,” his policies are harming working and middle-class Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. “Our political and economic systems are so weighted toward the wealthy that opportunity will only come through the power of collective action,” she writes, using “the surest vehicles to increase opportunity for ordinary Americans”—public education, labor unions and voting. Read the full column.

Early childhood support requires adequate staffing

Some of education’s biggest problems come with its littlest students. At a working breakfast for paraprofessionals in prekindergarten, early childhood and Head Start, members swapped strategies for solving problems. Their discussion came during the AFT PSRP conference last week in Las Vegas, where paras from all over the country zeroed in on professional development and adequate classroom coverage.

AFT launches massive national campaign to fund public education

The AFT’s long-time advocacy for public schools has just been turbo-charged, with a sweeping, multi-pronged campaign to fund the future of American public education. Amid the continuing wave of teacher activism shining a spotlight on massive shortfalls in education investment, the Fund Our Future initiative aims to take the teachers’ megaphone into Congress, statehouses and communities nationwide.