News from President Beth Kontos
Welcome to the beginning of a new school year! As educators and students return to the classroom, I’m feeling hopeful. After several years of difficult work responding to the challenges of the pandemic, we have the potential this year to make major strides towards delivering the schools our students truly deserve.
AFT Massachusetts is proud to be endorsing a slate of proven women leaders who will make state government a true partner to our local schools as we work to recover from the effects of the pandemic. These strong and independent leaders will deliver for Massachusetts students, educators, and families.
As the People’s Lawyer, Maura Healey has always stood up strong for Massachusetts students and educators. As our next Governor, she’ll bring Massachusetts together to build an equitable recovery in our schools and will invest in the academic supports, wraparound services, and mental health resources our students need to recover from the effects of the pandemic. She’s offering real solutions to close the opportunity gaps in our schools, and to make Massachusetts more affordable so that educators can afford to live and raise our families here.
For AFT Member Toni Bourgea, Teaching Polish & Ukrainian Students This Summer Was ‘A Melting Pot of Education and Shared Knowledge’
#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series
AFT Massachusetts President on the Mystic Valley Charter School Administration's Discriminatory Behavior
Mystic Valley Charter School has a shameful history of targeting students with special needs, disciplining students for the way they wear their hair, and, most recently, discriminating against students for their religious dress. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) must immediately revoke their charter school license to protect any future students from being subjected to this illegal treatment.
New Law Offers Eligible Members Who Transferred into the MTRS a Second Chance for RetirementPlus Participation
Teachers Who Transferred into the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System from Another Massachusetts Public Retirement System Can Opt in to Retirement Plus. With AFT Massachusetts support, the Legislature has at long last passed a bill which allows those teachers who transferred into Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System (MTRS) or the Boston Retirement System after June 1, 2001 and before June 30, 2022 a one time opportunity to opt into RetirementPlus.
BKT Discount for AFT Members
Managing Student Debt
The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program—with the changes that the AFT has secured through advocacy and litigation—is perhaps the single best opportunity to deliver money in our members’ pockets. So far, $7.3 billion has been forgiven for more than 127,000 public service workers. But there is limited time to act to secure these benefits. Specifically, the expanded opportunity to receive credit for past payments ends Oct. 31, 2022. That means AFT members must submit paperwork by this date—it’s not too late.
The temporary expansion of Public Service Loan Forgiveness means more people are getting relief, including many who were previously denied for having the “wrong type” of loan or repayment plan. You must apply before October 31, 2022 to take advantage of this temporary PSLF expansion. Don’t wait! Sign up with Summer at and apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness today! Need more information, attend an AFT student debt clinic webinar on September 20 and October 4! READ MORE.
The financial professionals of Teacher Retirement Solutions (TRS) have partnered with AFT Massachusetts and specialize in providing independent financial guidance, strategies and solutions to educators, school employees, librarians and their families throughout New England. Join TRS’ John Gregorio, a Certified Financial Planner, on October 19, 2022 via Zoom for a comprehensive workshop for prospective retirees. The Massachusetts' public employee retirement formula, Social Security and living in retirement will be among the topics discussed.