AFT Pennsylvania's Executive Council voted Friday to support a national Day of Unity with rallies, petition drives, informational picketing and other activities in support of good neighborhood public schools, human rights and effective union protections for workers.
A Resolution in Support of Public Education,
Immigrant Rights and School and State Workers
WHEREAS, the policies now being proposed by the new administration in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania legislature pose a severe threat to public education and teacher unions through vouchers and tax credits; elimination of property taxes and anti-labor, right-to-work laws.
WHEREAS, new policies pose a severe threat to immigrant children, who comprised 31 percent of those attending Pennsylvania’s public schools, and safety and bully-free environments are no longer assured in many public schools and communities.
WHEREAS, even with pre-K-12 funding increases under Governor Wolf, funding cuts from 2011-12 still remain in 2017 – particularly in high-poverty and middle-class communities in Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, State spending on corrections has increased 46 percent since 2007-08, while state support for higher education has fallen 21 percent in the same period and Pennsylvania spends more money on prisons than on colleges.
WHEREAS, all of our students deserve high-quality public schools that teach the whole child, provide enrichment and address their social and emotional needs – regardless of income, race, ethnicity, religion, country of birth, sexual identification or unique needs and abilities.
WHEREAS, free and equitable public education for all students must remain one of the keystones to which our country aspires.
WHEREAS, local accountability for our public schools is necessary to ensure that schools are responsive to the needs of their students, communities and stakeholders.
WHEREAS, AFT Pennsylvania is a member of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, which is organizing teachers, parents and schools nationwide to protect public school students and employees.
RESOLVED, that AFT Pennsylvania recognizes the May 1, 2017, is a day of unity for public education, working people and immigrant rights throughout the United States.
RESOLVED, that AFT Pennsylvania supports policies that call for
o Schools and campuses to be spaces safe from deportation of immigrants, safe from racism toward students because of their skin color and safe from bullying because of gender identification, body image, religion and or culture.
o No vouchers or tax credits for private schools or expanding charter schools.
o Labor laws and policies remain in place to protect the rights of teachers, school support staff and state employees.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we stand united for public education for all students and encourage AFT Pennsylvania affiliates to participate in a Day of Unity on May 1 with events in their own school districts and communities.
March 10, 2017