AFT Resolution

CALL FOR PREFERRED LANGUAGE FOR TEACHERS AT CHARTERS AND FOR SOLIDARITY BETWEEN MEMBERS AT CHARTERS AND DISTRICTS

WHEREAS, teachers and staff at charter schools affirm themselves to be serving the public good as educators of public school children, rather than serving private interests, namely the businesses that run some charter schools; and

WHEREAS, teachers and staff at charters and districts share the common task of defending and advancing the teaching profession in the service of a public education for all children that promotes learning, equality, justice and opportunity; and

WHEREAS, every student in every classroom deserves to be served by a teacher or staff who has the protection of union representation and a strong contract so that the teacher or staff can advocate for the student and for the resources and services needed for every student to achieve greatness; and

WHEREAS, the employment of teachers and staff at a charter school does not constitute an endorsement of the use of charters to privatize education as is seen in the anti-democratic mass school closings in places such as Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia and that lead to greater segregation; and

WHEREAS, laws in various states have tried to drive wedges between teachers and staff at districts and teachers and staff at charters, resulting in many states in teachers and staff at charters needing to risk their jobs in the fight to obtain a union contract, which often contains many fewer benefits and protections than the contracts of district teachers and staff in the same community; and

WHEREAS, charter expansion usually occurs as traditional public schools' budgets are cut, services to students curtailed and schools closed:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers communications about charter schools and teachers and staff at charter schools will emphasize that solidarity between teachers and staff at charters and districts is more important than ever:

  • In the fight for high-quality learning environments that support children and their families;
  • •n the fight for better union contracts at charters and districts;
  • In the fight for a better society; and
  • Especially in the current political climate in which all teachers are unjustly made the focus of blame for society's ills; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will renew our commitment to organize teachers and staff at charter schools at the same time that we fight the expansion of charter schools; and

RESOLVED, that as an expression of this solidarity, the AFT will adopt as preferred language the term "teacher and staff at charter" instead of "charter teacher and staff" and will direct all staff to prefer this language in official communications; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will refer to this resolution and its message in social media and communications, and emphasize the solidarity of teachers and staff at charters with teachers and staff in districts and ask every state federation and local to consider adopting this preferred language.

(2014)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.