AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

THE ROLE OF VOLUNTEERS IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO SUPPORT AND SUPPLEMENT THE WORK OF PARAPROFESSIONALS AND SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF

WHEREAS, the use of volunteers in our public school system is a longstanding and important tradition; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a long and proud history of encouraging community members and parent volunteers in our public schools; and

WHEREAS, volunteers in our public schools can serve as role models to our students and demonstrate the importance of giving back to the community; and

WHEREAS, the AFT believes that the proper use of school volunteers enhances and supports the work of paraprofessionals and school support staff in providing our students with a high-quality education; and

WHEREAS, volunteer work in our public schools should only be relied upon to support and supplement the work of paraprofessionals and school support staff; and

WHEREAS, school systems should not rely on volunteers to provide the critical educational services and supports provided by paraprofessionals and school support staff; and

WHEREAS, an important factor underlying student success is access to consistent, high-quality instructional support delivered by trained paraprofessionals and school staff; and

WHEREAS, the economic pressures facing our public schools cannot be used as an excuse to replace dedicated paraprofessionals and school support staff with untrained and unqualified volunteers and philanthropists; and

WHEREAS, well-meaning programs and organizations that recruit and provide volunteers to our public schools may be unaware of efforts by school systems to replace paraprofessionals and school support staff as a cost-saving measure:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will oppose efforts to replace regularly employed paraprofessionals and school support staff with volunteers; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will oppose efforts to use volunteers to lower school district's staffing costs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will monitor trends on the misuse of volunteers in public schools and will inform and educate its affiliates of such practices; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will promote cooperation between teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff on developing plans on how to incorporate school volunteers in a constructive and helpful way; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work with programs and organizations on strategies that integrate volunteers into public schools as a means of enhancing the education of students and not as low- or no-cost replacement for paraprofessionals and school support staff; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will work with affiliates to identify and disseminate best practices on the use of volunteers in our public schools and will share this information with affiliates, school districts, philanthropic organizations and others who promote and support the use of volunteers in our public schools.


(2012)