Public School Reopening Proposals

In the same way that the state is taking a deliberate and careful approach to reopening the economy, the state must take an equally deliberate and careful approach to reopening our public schools. We are advocating for phased reopening that will consist of four separate phases.
 
Having spent approximately 25 percent of the 2019-2020 school year in crisis mode and learning remotely, all of our students — regardless of socioeconomic status or race — will be coming back with social, emotional and academic needs that we don’t yet fully understand. The nearly 390,000 students whose families are at 185 percent of the federal poverty level under the Student Opportunity Act will have even more acute trauma than they carried before the pandemic. The intersection of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement compels us to examine and dismantle structures of racism and classism in society and in the institution of public education. Our schools cannot go back to the conditions under which they operated before COVID-19 or we will fail our students, families, educators and communities at the time of their greatest need. This moment provides us with an exciting opportunity to transform public education to adapt to our new reality.
 

 

Stand Up for the Winthrop and Woburn Library Workers

"The decisions by the towns of Winthrop and Woburn to lay off librarians is exactly the wrong move in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. For months, librarians in communities across Massachusetts have been supporting the education of children whose schools are closed with ebooks, audio books, and other online services. Now, librarians are ready to offer curbside-pickup, a service that is in high demand from many seniors and other residents without internet access at home. But laying off librarians would hurt students, seniors, and all residents who depend on their public library, while putting state aid and grants at risk. The towns of Winthrop and Woburn should reverse their decisions immediately and save their libraries!" -- AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos.

Pass the House HEROES Act

The House version of the HEROES Act is a vital step toward helping our country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief package provides valuable resources for testing, tracing, and hospital support to aid safe reopenings, and funds our states, cities, towns, and schools.
 
The relief offered in this package combats the virus by providing $75 billion for necessary testing, tracing and hospital support, which are critical for reopening safely. It also invests nearly $1 trillion in state and local aid, including $100 billion for public schools and public colleges.