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HAPPENING NOW: @rweingarten talks to the @nysut conference of leaders. Follow along in the thread below.ImageImage
.@rweingarten: After the 2016 election, several of us got together in Washington DC to see what we needed to do next. Rather than talking about politicians to voting, we now focus first on what the values are to lead people to vote. 
.@rweingarten: It doesn't matter where you are or how you've voted in the past. What matters is, what are the values we're voting on? I know everyone in this room believes in well-resourced public education as an aspiration agent. 
.@rweingarten: We need to make sure teachers to paras to bus drivers to have the conditions they need to help kids. But we believe in public ed as an anchor in this country. Another anchor in this country? Unions. 
.@rweingarten: We've gone from a union movement that was stagnant, to seeing young people seeing the power of unions and organizing their workplaces. You can tell in the aftermath of Janus, most of our members believe that we can accomplish together what's impossible alone. 
.@rweingarten: Most of our members believe in democracy, in freedom, in fighting discrimination. From that, there's a movement. And from that, there's opportunity and justice. 
.@rweingarten: Conservatives are working consistently to undermine educators in this country. They're in the same race as we are between fear & hope, aspiration & despair, democracy & autocracy. And they're doing this because our members worked so hard during COVID. 
.@rweingarten: What right wing extremists understand is what Americans understand: That public schools are foundational. 
.@rweingarten: If folks like DeSantis & DeVos get their way, kids won't become critical thinkers and learn the lessons of life. Schools are a way of creating pluralism and diversity. That's why there's censorship of books and lessons, and calling educators "woke." 
.@rweingarten: These extremists are fighting these culture wars, and the attacks are only going to get worse. It's a strategy to divide educators from parents, to create apathy and fear. These are the biggest tools they have to win. 
.@rweingarten: Right wing extremists have said that the way to universal vouchers is to create universal distrust. But our members stuck with the union after Janus. And people around the country understand the importance of unions. That's why they're fighting these culture wars. 
.@rweingarten: AFT and @nysut have already created an antidote. Just like we did in 2016, you turned to the values that unite us - what kids need most. Everyone's been through in the last 2 years. So if we can unite educators & parents, we can win. 
.@rweingarten: What do parents want the most? They want their kids to learn & to be safe. That's why we started our #ReadingOpensTheWorld program - to increase literacy and get kids excited about learning by giving out 1M books - and focus on community schools. 
.@rweingarten: We're facing a mental health crisis and food insecurity crisis in this country. Why can't we use the infrastructure of community schools to help tackle those challenges? 
.@rweingarten: 93% of kids in CTE schools graduate, and 70% go to college. If we had more of these career tech ed schools, so students could see their future in front of them, think about what it would do for them and for our future. 
.@rweingarten: Thinking about ways to meet the needs of our kids, rather than endless conversations about who is "woke," is what we're doing. That's what parents want. What we need is for educators to be respected and to have the conditions we need to teach. 
.@rweingarten: I know we say it a lot, but elections matter more than ever. We have lawmakers running in states across the country, who are denying the results of the 2020 election, spouting the Big Lie. 
.@rweingarten: We can't afford to stay home. You can lose at the ballot box what you win at the bargaining table. If we lose this election, Rick Scott already said conservatives want to sunset every law every 5 years. What do you think that means for Social Security? Medicare? 
.@rweingarten: Apathy is the tool of the autocrat. These extremists don't think our members will vote for them. They're aiming for people to stay home. Everything that happens in Washington these days, and in other states, will eventually show up in our communities. 
.@rweingarten: I know how exhausted you all are. But you continue this work because that's who you are. That's what this administration is trying to do: Help working families. This new #InflationReductionAct will help keep costs down, invest in the environment, lower drug prices. 
.@rweingarten: We are still fighting to #CancelStudentDebt because we know how important this is. It's why we've partnered with @SavewithSummer and filed lawsuits and worked with the administration to fix #PSLF. That's what union advocacy is: Never giving up. That's who we are. 
.@rweingarten: We live in a post-truth society. That's why we're important. We are trusted messengers in our community, and we have to continue to build those relationships in our communities. It's up to us to strengthen democracy. 
.@rweingarten on gun violence in schools: We're in the gun violence conversation for the same reason we fought for good ventilation & layered COVID mitigation factors in schools. It's to create safe, welcoming learning & working environments for all. (1/4) 
.@rweingarten: About 80% of our members believe that educators & students shouldn't have guns in schools. Whether or not school security should be armed is up to the localities, and we've had conversations about school security with civil rights groups & members. (2/4) 
.@rweingarten: We believe that weapons of war have no place in our communities. This isn't about the 2nd amendment and responsible gun ownership - this is about reasonable restrictions to keep folks safe. (3/4) 
.@rweingarten: We also believe that gun manufacturers should be held responsible for the danger of their products. When aspirin caused injury, it was pulled from the shelves. Why are gun makers immune from this accountability? (4/4) 
Wow! One of our @nysut members, because of AFT's advocacy, just had $142,600 forgiven in student debt because of the #PSLF
.@rweingarten on division & discrimination: We can't be bystanders. We have to figure out how to meet people where they are & bring people to a different place. We need to name the behavior & say it's not appropriate, without shaming people. 
.@rweingarten on LGBTQ+ issues: It's important that we reach out to folks feeling threatened and show our support. But people are being used as pawns in political battles, and we also need to mobilize, organize & elect lawmakers who will stand up for LGBTQ+ people. 
 

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Replies

  • I bet she using children like popsicles 

  • lgbtq+people is a weird thing.  They are queers and need to be treated like they want to be treated.  Ask yourself, do you know what they do to each other behind the bedroom doors? If you did, I doubt you would be for their lifestyle.  Get a grip.

  • Provide education vouchers for parents or defund public schools and go to private schools only... the current system is bankrupt and is destroying our youth and the nation.

    • The current system represents political realities, guaranteed, rice bowl salaries and benefits; life time, middle class jobs with no provisions for proficiency, or accountability.  Government unions mean discharge is impossible.  Only politically correct pivotal points seem to matter.  Our universities are hardly any better.  A apt description would be on going criminal enterprises for a federally supported education.

    • Totally agree

  • Unions are corrupt and own too many politicians!!!!!!!!!!

  • unions are communist front organizations formed to make communist operatives rich at the expense of workers!!!!!  None of them do anything to help members, many of whom are forced to pay dues by laws passed by corrupt politicians owned by the unions!!!!!!!!!!

    • I tend to agree, Bob. My husband was a union member and then a retiree whose pension was paid by the union as a result of payments made by the companies he worded for.

      When he died I was entitled to a percentage of his pension and I was ok with that. In 2009 the union bosses decided to freeze the pensions without further Cost of Living increases. So today my pension is still at the 2009 rate without keeping up with inflation even at a minimum level. I asked the reason why a number of times and got not one iota in response. This union by the way was not a union in the beginning but a seafaring officers association and protected by our government in all its endeavors. Damn them both.

  • The public schools and colleges have become a haven for Anti-American indoctrination to socialist and Marxist values. They teach kids there is no God but the government. The school system must be shut down and replaced with school choice.

    • I agree, but realistically we must acknowledge that must be done by political revolution.  Democrats and their government unions must be destroyed, dismantled and made illegal.

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