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When Boston Public Schools officials announced their intention to close a middle school and two high schools last October, Neema Avashia was ready.

“In Boston, its no secret that there’s been a plan to close middle schools,” said Avashia, an 8th grade civics teacher at the McCormack Middle School in Dorchester.

She and her colleagues had been working for two years to plan the middle school’s transition to a 7-12 school when they found out that district officials planned to close the McCormack, send students to a different school, and, after renovating the McCormack, put the building out to bid for other 7-12 schools to take


Teams of educators and school administrators from Boston, Lawrence, and Lynn recently attended the American Federation of Teachers’ Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute, a three-day conference in New York City focused on strengthening collaboration skills with district and school improvement teams to improve student achievement.

“We were delighted to offer this opportunity to school improvement teams from three school districts that are already doing amazing collaborative work in their local schools,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “When educators and management work together to improve our schools, we can do so much for our students. We look forward to even more positive collaboration in the future thanks to the lessons teams learned at this conference.”


UTLA Settlement a Win for Kids!

AFT Massachusetts and President Beth Kontos congratulate the UTLA and all teachers and students in Los Angeles on their contract agreement. By standing strong, LA teachers won significant victories for their students and their communities, from additional nurses and librarians to reductions in class sizes and standardized tests. The LA teachers strike, and the other teachers strikes that have happened around the country in the last year, show that when educators, students, and parents fight together, we win!
Click here for additional information about the settlement.  

“Our public education system is underfunded from top to bottom, and through our work with the Fund Our Future coalition, we are committed to ensuring that our students and their schools have the funding they need to succeed, from preK through college,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “These bills will help us support our students throughout their entire education, no matter where they come from or what needs they have. We’ve waited far too long for Massachusetts to invest in our kids, and it’s time to pass this legislation now!”

The Fund Our Future coalition is supporting two pieces of legislation that would meet the recommendations of the state’s bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission and the Higher Education Finance Commission.


Statement of AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos on the "Education PROMISE ACT" Legislation to Increase School Funding

“As comprehensive public school funding legislation is introduced on Beacon Hill today, elected leaders of the Commonwealth should also pay close attention to the looming teachers strike expected in Los Angeles on Thursday. Teachers and their students in cities and towns all across Massachusetts suffer from overcrowded classrooms, limited music and arts education, and schools without nurses or librarians, just like they do in L.A.
“Teachers, parents, and students won’t let another year pass without action on Beacon Hill. Longstanding underfunding of public schools has already prompted statewide teacher walkouts in Colorado, West Virginia and Arizona. It could happen here if the investments our schools need aren't addressed soon."
Beth Kontos - AFT Massachusetts

AFT Massachusetts will host a regional training for building representatives and activists on Saturday, March 23rd.  The training will allow members to collaborate with other local activists and to develop/refine skills in the roles and responsibilities of a union leader:


This spring, AFT Massachusetts will host a series of regional benefits workshops to showcase the products and services available to AFT members through our member benefits program.

Whether you’re looking to purchase insurance, buy or refinance a home, plan for retirement, or just see what benefits are available to you as an AFT member, you can find experienced and dedicated professionals who will work with you every step of the way to fulfill your goals.


At AFT Massachusetts, we recognize that the systematic underfunding of our public schools increases the economic injustices that already exist in our poorest communities. Our urban schools and students especially suffer under the state’s failed school funding formula. Governor Baker and the Legislature can help alleviate this problem by fully funding our public schools, from preK through higher ed. It’s time for them to take action and fund our future, because our kids can’t afford to wait any longer.

-Beth Kontos, President, AFT Massachusetts


AFT Massachusetts members and leaders from around the state joined students, educators, parents, and community leaders today at the State House to call on Governor Charlie Baker and the Legislature to end the generation-long underfunding of local public schools and public colleges and universities. Advocates called for a major $1.5 billion reinvestment in public education by May, so that local schools will see increased budgets in the upcoming school year and college students can avoid tuition hikes this fall.

“For too long, Massachusetts has failed to adequately fund our local public schools and colleges, and as a result, many students, especially in our Gateway Cities, don’t have equal opportunities for a well-rounded education,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “They don’t have librarians or nurses. They don’t have music or art classes. Their class sizes are too big, and their school’s budgets are too small. It’s time we hold our state leaders accountable for properly funding our schools.”


In times of disaster, we’ll be there


AFT members show up BIG for each other because we care about each other.

When September’s gas explosions in Lawrence, Mass., closed schools, volunteers from surrounding communities, including teachers and staff, turned out to help at volunteer centers. Our new video about how AFT members care, fight and show up for their students and community is a must-watch.