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AFTPA opposes arming teachers and staff

AFT Pennsylvania opposes any legislation that would permit school and college faculty and staff to be armed while in classrooms and on campuses. "If educators had wanted careers in law enforcement, we would have enrolled in the Police Academy, instead of a School of Education," said AFTPA President Ted Kirsch. "Our job is to educate children and make their lives better." AFTPA supports commonsense programs and resources to make sure that children are safe while at school and on college campuses. Download AFTPA's position.

GOP stacks a committee to move ESA/voucher bill

The latest attempt by PA Republicans to pass an education savings account/voucher bill (Senate Bill 2) got a major boost this week when an anti-voucher senator on the Senate Education Committee left the committee and was replaced by an SB 2  sponsor. Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, who voted NO on the ESA/DeVos voucher bill in an unrecorded, tie committee vote, resigned as a member of the Senate Education Committee and is being replaced by Sen. Rich Alloway, R-Franklin, SB 2's sponsor. 

We did it! Payroll deduction bill is defeated

Thanks to the advocacy by AFT Pennsylvania members and the entire labor movement in Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Dec. 12,  the House defeated Senate Bill 166, an anti-union bill that would have prohibited public employers from negotiating to deduct voluntary PAC contributions from public employees’ paychecks.

FAQ: Changes to furlough & seniority law

A new law in Pennsylvania makes significant changes to the way that teachers, school nurses, librarians and other professional education employees are laid off (furloughed), reinstated and realigned following layoffs. The Q&A provides information about the new language in the school code. Download the FAQ here.

PA House approves charter 'reform' bill

Changes to Pennsylvania's charter reform bill are long overdue, but House Bill 97 misses the mark by a long shot. The House approved the bill, which AFT Pennsylvania opposes, and sent it to the Senate. 

Vouchers, EITC, ESAs don't help students

AFT Pennsylvania opposes taxpayer-funded school vouchers, education scholarship tax credits (Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs), which are back-door vouchers that use tax breaks to subsidize private and parochial schools. Vouchers represent a false hope for a few children, while most vouchers/scholarships are used by students already attending private schools. Vouchers do not deliver better outcomes for students and leave fewer resources for public school programs that are proven to work.

AFTPA opposes eliminating school property taxes

AFT Pennsylvania's Executive Council has approved a resolution opposing legislative efforts to eliminate school property taxes across the commonwealth. The resolution was approved unanimously by the Executive Council March 10. The property tax elimination bill has not been introduced yet.

No vote yet on bill gutting paid sick days

PA senators are considering a bill that removes mandatory paid sick, bereavement and sabbatical leaves from the school code, leaving them subject to collective bargaining in every school district.

Why AFTPA opposes payroll deduction laws

AFT Pennsylvania opposes legislation prohibiting automatic payroll deduction of union dues or voluntary contributions for public employees. So-called paycheck "protection" shifts the balance of power by allowing unlimited corporate political spending while restricting spending on political and legislative issues by organizations representing workers.

Hey Harrisburg: We can 'protect' our own paychecks!

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a so-called "paycheck protection" bill that redefines normal union activities such as legislative advocacy and non-partisan voter registration drives as "political" and then bar unions from using automatic payroll deductions to fund those activities.