Hartford Public Schools

Organizing to Defend Against a "Heartless Assault"

President Trump's decision last week to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program puts approximately 850,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children at risk. Many are public school educators, support staff, college instructors and faculty — as well as their students — right here in Connecticut. Our national union has teamed up with advocates to both fight back on their behalf and provide answers to their many questions about the impacts of this radical policy change.
 

A National Audience Hears Local Educators' Stories

Educators, families and communities are in a "David versus Goliath" battle against powerful special interests seeking to dismantle public education and rip opportunity from children and families. That was the message delivered last month to more than 1,400 teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff at the biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America's Children) conference. Union members from Connecticut were there — and two local leaders shared their political engagement experience and discussed teacher-driven professionalism.
 

Achieving Educator Diversity with a 'Grow Your Own' Vision

Leaders in education, labor and civil rights this past spring packed the AFL-CIO's Washington, D.C. headquarters for a second annual teacher diversity and social justice summit. Our national union once again co-sponsored the event, which featured a series of presentations showcasing effective "home-grown" methods for addressing a growing educator shortage. Connecticut labor and community leaders were among the participants, and they've brought back strategies for identifying, preparing and retaining teachers of color from the communities where they work.
 

Public Employees Converge on the Capitol to Defend Rights

With chants of "We Will Fight!," a crowd of nearly 1,500 on Friday took over Minuteman Park in Hartford to denounce lawmakers' proposals to silence the voices of working people. The rally was organized by members of unions representing Connecticut's public sector workforce as part of a series of actions throughout the day at the State Capitol complex. They came to resist 77 individual bills that, if passed into law, would roll-back collective bargaining rights and undermine state and municipal public service employees' pay and benefits.
 

Where the Front Line Meets the Bottom Line

Hundreds of nurses and health professionals last week gathered in Washington, D.C. to raise their voices on the issues affecting frontline caregivers and their patients. They came to the nation's capitol for AFT's annual Professional Issues Conference (PIC) and Labor Academy for hospital and healthcare workers. More than 30 members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions were among the attendees for this year's event, organized under the theme "Where the Front Line Meets the Bottom Line."
 

Spotlight: Classroom Paraprofessionals

Leaders from several AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions representing hard-working school paraeducators in districts across the state this weekend are joining with their colleagues from throughout the country. They gathered in Las Vegas for our national union's professional issues conference for paras and school-related personnel (PSRP), which this year coincides with national Paraprofessional Appreciation Day on April 2.
 

Legislation Recognizing Paraprofessionals' Vital Role Advances

Paraeducators in Connecticut are applauding yesterday's bipartisan vote in the General Assembly's Education Committee in support of House Bill 5305, An Act Concerning School Paraprofessional Training. The proposed legislation would require school districts to provide at least one day of paid training and to paraprofessionals prior to the start of the school year. 
 
Click here for the bill's language.
 

AFT President to Tour MLK Jr. Elementary School, Hold Media Briefing

Washington - American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will tour Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School on Thursday and hold a media availability after the visit. Joining her will be Hartford Federation of Teachers President Andrea Johnson, Hartford Federation of Paraprofessionals Co-Presidents Shellye Davis and Jackie Aviles and Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell.
 

"From My Classroom to My Colleague:" Improving Teacher Retention

The challenge of retaining highly qualified teachers for public schools in high-poverty neighborhoods is having a detrimental impact on the "opportunity to learn" for children across the country. That's among the significant findings of a report on the so-called "diversity gap" between educators and their students by the Albert Shanker Institute. In Connecticut, union members, who on a daily basis see the effects of teacher turnover in distressed local communities, are discussing its implications and proposing possible solutions.
 
Click here for the report.
 

Educators, Caregivers, and Public Employees Back Hartford Working Families' Candidates

Rocky Hill - Citing their collective commitment to working families' issues, members of the nearly 30,000-strong AFT Connecticut are supporting Joshua Blanchfield, Wildaliz Bermudez and Dr. Larry Deutsch, MD, MPH to serve on Hartford's Court of Common Council. The labor federation's executive committee voted to add the Connecticut Working Families Party (WFP) candidates to its slate of endorsements for the November 3 municipal General Election. Earlier this month active and retired members of its affiliated local unions were informed and encouraged to vote for all three.
 
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