West Haven Federation of Teachers

"U & I in Union:" Electing Our Own Advocates

Our members' jobs, whether in public education, healthcare, higher education or state service, are heavily impacted by policy decisions made at the local, state and federal levels. That’s why electing those who will stand up for working people has long been a high priority for AFT Connecticut. We're sharing the story of one such success in backing a retired teacher and lifelong education advocate as yet another example of the "union difference" in our lives.
 

Spotlight: Teachers Reaching English Learners

Students who are new arrivals to our nation's schools face a myriad of unique challenges beyond acquiring language skills. They must adjust to a new environment while learning to listen, speak, read, write and think all while growing and developing socially and emotionally. On global World Refugee Day, we're spotlighting teachers here in Connecticut who work together to promote the overall well-being of all their students — regardless of where they came from.
 

Rejecting the Failure to Deliver Shared Prosperity

The governor and lawmakers from both parties this past week released three separate proposals for narrowing wider state budget gaps anticipated in the next two fiscal years. These political leaders once again failed to offer long-term solutions that would grow the economy or commonsense strategies to stop endless cycles of deficits. Instead, their latest proposals rely heavily on austerity policies that would unfairly balance the budget on the backs of working families.
 
Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the proposals.
 

Taking Our First Stand to "Keep Us Covered"

Tens of thousands of advocates, caregivers and elected officials earlier this month rallied in cities across the country to stand up to renewed threats to gut Americans' healthcare coverage. The nationwide protests were the first step to oppose attacks by congressional Republicans and the new president on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vital supports like Medicare and Medicaid. Members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions braved the cold on January 15 for a demonstration quickly organized at the State Capitol in Hartford.
 

Standing Up to Unprecedented Threats to Schools

By choosing billionaire political donor Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), President-elect Donald Trump has shown he is serious about decimating our nation's public schools. Congress has scheduled her nomination hearing for next Wednesday, adding urgency to the defense of our shared mission of a high-quality learning experience for all students. Members are encouraged to sign and share an open letter demanding the secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision.
 
Click here to add your name to the letter.
 

Urging Federal Officials "Level Up," Not Shift Away Education Resources

The signatures of more than 5,100 AFT members across the country concerned over implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last week were delivered to the federal education department. They accompanied a letter from our national union president regarding proposed "supplement-not-supplant" regulations that threaten to "wreak havoc on thousands of schools" and the students they serve.
 
Click here for the language of the petition.
 

Spotlight: Educators Committed to Attendance "Every Day"

Educators, classroom support staff and school social workers know firsthand that for students, a day lost to absenteeism is a day lost to learning. Their concerns were reinforced by a landmark brief released earlier this month on national chronic absence data that reveals the true scope of the problem. As the month set aside to raise awareness of the issue wraps up, we're spotlighting union members devoted to helping students and families understand how achievement is connected to attendance.
 

Spotlight: Retirees Demonstrate "Senior" Activism

Retired members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions do not fit easily into popular, preconceived notions of life after employment; particularly those who remain engaged in the labor movement. Tomorrow is National Senior Citizens Day, and we're taking time to spotlight a few who not only defy stereotypes, but who exemplify "seniority" in both knowledge and experience.
 

Building the Movement to Reclaim Our Schools

Nearly 3,000 delegates to our national union's convention last month heard advocates share their conviction in the value of building community-level coalitions to achieve true educational justice in America. It's an approach long-embraced by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions — which will again be demonstrated in October during coordinated local actions to "reclaim our schools" across the state.
 
Click here for more on the October 6 "walk-ins."
 

New Federal Testing Proposals: Praise, Caution & Action

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) earlier this month proposed rules regarding student testing under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation's new law governing public education. Included in the July 7 announcement were plans for a pilot program that states will likely be able to apply for in the coming school year. The news drew both caution and praise from union leaders -- along with a renewed call to action ensuring that the law's promise as a "reset" of federal education policy continues.
 
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