Hartford Federation of Paraprofessionals

Demonstrating Solidarity in Professional Development

Among the many benefits enjoyed by members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions is the opportunity to participate in career-relevant training, specialized education and advanced professional learning courses. Our state federation has in recent years increased the variety of topics, boosted the frequency of sessions, and expanded access to all of our diverse constituencies. To that end, leaders with distinct knowledge and unique skill sets have been tapped to serve as presenters for an increasing number of workshops.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Spotlight: Supporting Students' Educational Opportunities

Paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRPs) represent approximately 40 percent of the staff in our nation's public schools and play a vital role in reclaiming the promise of a great education. We're spotlighting union members who are "the engines keeping public schools running" at the same time that they are recognized nationally for the positive impact they have on students' lives.
 

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: 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.
 

Top Honors for a Deserving Paraprofessional

Veteran educator Denise Seel on Monday was named Connecticut's 2016 Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year at the school in Hartford where she has worked for 13 years. Attending the event were the lieutenant governor, the commissioner of the State Department of Education (SDE), district officials and Seel's colleagues from both AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions representing school employees.
 
Click here for press coverage of the announcement.
 

AFT Organizes First Forum on Racial Justice

Public school and college support staff union leaders from around the country earlier this month gathered to engage in a formative discussion on how to close the opportunity gap for American men and boys of color. The town hall-style event in Orlando was attended by members of AFT's national Paraprofessionals & School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Program and Policy Council (PPC), which includes local leaders from Connecticut.
 
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