Real Solutions for Kids and Communities: Investments and Resources
We're fighting for investments schools need, so they can recruit, retain and respect the educators and school staff who help kids thrive, offer a well-rounded curriculum, and provide safe, welcoming and well-maintained school buildings.
AFT’s national Teacher and School Staff Shortage Task Force released a report, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?, which was considered at the union’s biennial convention; the report outlines targeted solutions to ensure educators have the tools, time, trust, and training they need to do their jobs and to stay in their jobs.
Blogs and Articles
We all know how exhausting it can be to work in our public schools, but how do we keep from burning out? A new report from the AFT and Educators Thriving offers some proven strategies based on what our own members tell us about their experiences. At the core of these solutions is a call for connection, collaboration and commitment from leaders to support the well-being of educators so that they can, in turn, support their students.
Chances are that our educators work in a school district with a serious shortage in personnel. By now, many teachers and school support staff have left education out of frustration, exhaustion or both. These past few years have been extraordinarily challenging. To address this crisis, the AFT and Educators Thriving have collaborated on a new report, “Beyond Burnout: A Roadmap to Improve Educator Well-Being.”
More than 100 AFT members fanned out across Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 20, visiting dozens of U.S. senators, representatives and congressional staffers to show elected officials just what life is like in our public schools—and urge them toward policies that will truly support their communities. Among their top issues: school funding, educator pay, over-testing and school safety.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) shined a spotlight on the teacher shortage at the “Respecting Our Teachers: A Town Hall on the Teacher Pay Crisis in America,” held on Capitol Hill Feb. 13. With speakers including AFT President Randi Weingarten, National Education Association President Rebecca Pringle, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and the people closest to this problem—working educators—the event laid out what Sanders calls the “unconscionable” working conditions that have prompted so many people to leave the profession.
In a Special Order of Business, delegates unanimously adopted a new report from the AFT Teacher and School Staff Shortage Task Force. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? What America Must Do to Attract and Retain the Educators and School Staff Our Students Need examines the root causes of snowballing shortages and spells out practical solutions that will improve teaching, working and learning conditions.
Public education requires money, and a lot of it. The commitment to provide good schools and quality instruction for every child between ages 5 and 18 has a real cost. The price rises dramatically when we further commit to educating all students, regardless of their needs. The promise to leave no child behind requires significant funding, so our citizens must be willing to make a commitment to our children through their tax dollars.
Since the American Federation of Teachers released a groundbreaking state-by-state report card on education funding, “A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession,” one year ago, there’s been some good news: The badly eroded finances of our nation’s public schools are improving. In 2016, 25 states spent less on public K-12 education on a per-pupil basis, adjusted for inflation, than before the 2008 recession. Today’s analysis shows that in 2017, the number of states severely shortchanging kids had dropped to 21.