AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Staffing Hard-to-Staff Schools:
What You Can Do

Teacher quality is an issue that affects everyone. The students in our nation's classrooms are the leaders of tomorrow. We know the value of high-quality teaching. We owe it to the future to guarantee that today's students have access to the high-quality teachers, teaching and resources they need to be successful.

It's important to educate yourself and your community about the educational equity that exists in the school district. This information can be used to support teacher-quality initiatives. Begin with some of the basic information below and build from there.

  • Contact the AFT and find out what programs/ incentives and contract language have been successfully implemented to recruit and retain teachers in hard-to-staff schools.
  • Identify the hard-to-staff schools in your district. Meet with the teachers in these schools to discuss their resources, professional development and working conditions.
  • Meet with the superintendent to discuss the supports and resources available to teachers in your local hard-to-staff schools.
  • Invite a local union leader who has dealt with this issue to speak with your executive board.
  • Identify a team to develop contract language that targets teacher retention in hard-to-staff schools.
  • Develop a pilot project for a limited number of hard-to-staff schools that would implement programs to increase teacher retention at these sites. Then present the plan to the local school board.


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