Making our schools safe for learning

What’s the single most important thing affecting student outcomes? Emotions. And not necessarily students’ own emotions but ours—those of the adults around them. So says Marc Brackett, a professor at Yale University and director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

AFT march to vigil shows strong opposition to border atrocities

AFT members carrying banners and chanting “classrooms, not cages” shut down Connective Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Washington, D.C., Friday night, June 12, on their way to Lights for Liberty, a vigil for children being held at the U.S.-Mexico border. Dozens of teachers and school support staff marched en masse to the White House, joining hundreds of other activists gathered there to say “no more” to the atrocities taking place in the U.S. detention camps for immigrant families seeking asylum. “We must fight back,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten at the vigil. “Tonight must be a renewal of protest and resistance.”

Equity and social justice sessions at TEACH offer resources for greater inclusion

To teach and to reach all students, schools must find ways to be inclusive by ensuring that all students are valued and their educational and personal needs are met. Many sessions at AFT TEACH focused on inclusion through the lens of equity and social justice. For the first time at a TEACH conference, educators addressed how Native Americans are represented in the classroom and how to break traditional destructive stereotypes. “How is it that American Indians can be so present and so absent in our everyday lives?” asked Giselle Lundy-Ponce, executive assistant to the AFT executive vice president of the AFT, who moderated the session.

Many AFT voices join to become one union voice

Throughout the TEACH conference, members took the stage to tell their stories of solidarity and accomplishment through the union. One by one, they recounted stories of empowerment to the benefit of their students, schools and communities. Get inspir…

Tackling student debt, one AFT member at a time

The AFT has launched a new program to help members save thousands of dollars and pay down their student debt. Available free to AFT members, the Summer app—which has been described as Turbo Tax for student debt—helps you track your loans and enrolls you in savings programs, all online. The AFT’s student debt clinics will continue to run, giving members more ways to pay down their debt, and demonstrating that the AFT is fighting the student debt crisis on all fronts. The Summer app was available throughout TEACH, and will be available to all members in the coming months.

Public school finances are showing new signs of life

Since the American Federation of Teachers released a groundbreaking state-by-state report card on education funding, “A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession,” one year ago, there’s been some good news: The badly eroded finances of our nation’s public schools are improving. In 2016, 25 states spent less on public K-12 education on a per-pupil basis, adjusted for inflation, than before the 2008 recession. Today’s analysis shows that in 2017, the number of states severely shortchanging kids had dropped to 21.