professional progressive unionism

Preparing for the 2021 Legislative Session

Date
ATF
Union

The 2021 legislative session is the critical moment when we must move toward reopening school buildings and continuing American public education – not as it is today or as it has been in the past – as it can and should be: the center of democracy, the foundation of a fair and just society, and the cornerstone in our community where every child can succeed.

While the closing of school buildings during the pandemic affords us an opportunity to rethink the schooling we have been providing, it is also limiting what we might accomplish.

This year each legislator will be limited to 5 pieces of legislation, making our ideas for change that much more important and each piece of pending legislation and its sponsor that much more precious.

It is imperative that we stay alert and stay active during the session. So, stay tuned for more information from your union about how we advocate for bills that could impact you and your career.

To get an idea of what we are advocating for, take a look at our ATF 2021 Legislative Agenda: Post-Pandemic Public Education: Equity & Excellence, A positive call to action, or read about it in the November/December 2020 edition of the Teachers Voice.

We must seize this opportunity to achieve a more equitable, student-focused education system that helps each child to succeed and achieve.

We must seize this opportunity to achieve a more equitable, student-focused education system that helps each child to succeed and achieve.

During this session, we can start working to rise above the decades of underfunding, testing as the foundation of schooling, half-hearted measures, the misdiagnoses of education problems, and blame-shifting. We can lay the foundation for the schools our students need and deserve by reimagining our public education systems as:

  • Relationship-rich
  • Student-centered
  • Anti-racist and a
  • Professionally satisfying institution ……in which we are able to prepare students to be caring, competent, critical thinkers and fully informed, engaged, contributing members of society.

Substantive changes in policy and practice aimed at interrupting the deep structures of the factory model of schooling are essential. In the short term, these changes will mitigate the pandemic’s impact on learning and interrupt the punitive deficit-based practices of the last 20 years. In the long term, these changes will ensure that we are able to prepare students to be caring, competent, critical thinkers and fully informed, engaged, contributing members of society.

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