Union Highlights

New Election Resources from Share My Lesson

Teaching students about the democratic process has never been more important. Voter turnout is on the rise in primary elections, and first-time women candidates have been defeating longtime incumbents across the political spectrum. In fact, more than 300 AFT members are running for office in the 2018 midterms. Visit Share My Lesson’s election collection at for free K–12 lessons, activities, blogs, and webinars to educate students about local, state, and national elections and why they matter. Topics include fostering civil discourse, fighting fake news, participating in political debate, and learning about voting rights—hot-button issues sure to keep your students informed and engaged.

A Decade of Cuts to Education has Hurt Kids

A recent report published by the AFT details the devastating impact on schools, classrooms, and students when states choose to pursue an austerity agenda in the false belief that tax cuts will pay for themselves. A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession outlines the effects of austerity measures taken in the last 10 years. Among the findings: public education is underfunded in every single state in the United States. Read the full report.


American Educator, Fall 2018

Sticking with the Union

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against working people in Janus v. AFSCME, but the AFT and its members are standing strong. Given the right wing’s attempts to further rig the economy in favor of corporations and the wealthy, unions remain the most effective vehicle for ensuring working people have the power to join together to make possible what is impossible for individuals acting alone. AFT members across the country are recommitting to their local unions. Their stories may be different, but their goal is the same: to show that the union fights for its members.

For example, in Massena, New York, the union has formed partnerships to boost a community facing severe economic struggles. In Douglas County, Colorado, the union helped to fend off a corporate takeover of the school board. And in Genoa, Ohio, the union reclaimed the pay teachers had sacrificed to restore arts programming. These locals show that unions are not going away, that new members are signing up, and that the labor movement will continue to make a difference in the lives of working people.

Randi Weingarten at public education rally
AFT President Randi Weingarten rallying in support of public education in Pittsburgh this summer.

AFT Helps Members Climb Out of Debt

With Americans carrying more than $1.5 trillion in education debt, student debt far exceeds automobile and credit card debt in this country. In a recent survey of AFT members who are struggling financially, 80 percent said their education debt was either “challenging” or “a major burden.” The AFT’s student debt clinics already have helped more than 10,000 people better understand how to pay off their debt and find the best path to a debt-free life. Learn how to sponsor a student debt clinic at your local union.

–The AFT Communications Department

American Educator, Fall 2018