Published On: November 1, 2023


We are just one week away from Boston’s municipal elections and our endorsed candidates need all the support we can offer. We have put together a sign-up sheet that can connect you to a Get out the Vote! event and campaign based on your availability and address. Please learn more about our endorsed candidates who have committed to being strong advocates for our schools, including several candidates who have direct ties to BPS and the BTU, such as Joel Richards in D3 and Henry Santana who is running at-large for city council.

City Councilors take important votes, including approving funding for our contract and the BPS budget. Can you give an hour or two this week to support our candidatesThis is our opportunity to make sure our City Council is staffed with representatives willing to serve Boston’s students. Th
ey need volunteers to knock on doors, distribute campaign literature, and make phone calls to explain why it’s essential that we all show up at the polls next Tuesday. If you’re interested in phone banking you can contact Political Director Johnny McInnisWe’ll be hosting phone banks on November 1, November 2, and November 6.

We encourage all of our members to get involved, especially our members living in Districts 3, 5, and 6 to offer your in support in addition to volunteering for at-large candidates. If you can’t volunteer a few hours, we hope you consider making donations to our endorsed candidates’ campaigns.  Every contribution helps! Look our for the last Special Bulletin on Thursday for the latest updates and see our past issues if you missed them. You can also check out the city’s election page for more details on mail-in ballots and early voting locations.

Last week, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeff Riley announced that the state will not label any more schools as chronically underperforming, a label that exposes a school to a state takeover.  

While we celebrate that no new schools will be labeled for a potential state takeover, it is time for the state to end this system in its entirety. Two of our schools, the Dever and Up Holland Academy have been stuck in receivership for more than 10 years. In that time, state bureaucracy has not served our students or educators. It’s time for the state to acknowledge that receivership is failed policy that does more harm than good. 

Our coalition of education justice organizations have rallied behind the Thrive Act, which would end this system and remove all districts and individual schools from receivership. Read some coverage here and stay tuned for more actions on that end.

BPS had asked that all Inclusion Planning teams complete service mapping by yesterday, October 30th. We have asked the district for the service map template so we can support our members but at this time we have not seen a shared template for schools to use to complete this step. As a reminder, the IPT is a collaborative team made up of elected BTU members and school leader appointed members so that the educator’s voice is represented in the outcome. Katie DeLaRosa, the Inclusive Education Liaison, is available to attend your IPT meetings and to discuss your questions and concerns. We have been asking for clarity and will send out updates as soon as we have them.

The Boston Public Schools is offering a one-time incentive of $1,500 for early notification of separation of employment to members of the BTU Teachers’ Unit.  See this link for the district’s notification and application form.

We’d like to commend the United Auto Workers for remaining steadfast in their strikes against the Big Three Automakers. As of yesterday, Ford, Stellantis, and GM have all reached tentative deals with the UAW that offers significant wage increases to new and veteran workers in addition to reducing the time a union member qualifies for the top wage in their contract. We were proud to support our local UAW members in Mansfield and at a rally in front of the Statehouse last week and on their picket line last Thursday.

Don’t forget: the next BTU monthly membership meeting is coming up next Wednesday, Nov 8 from 4:30 to 6:30pm at our headquarters. We will be sharing many important updates and taking important votes, including a by-laws change vote, and hope to see you there!  Please remember to register for childcare at least 24 hours before the meeting.  


BTU Events and Announcements

Boston Bruins Tickets: Thursday, Nov. 2

The BTU still has tickets available to the Boston Bruin vs. Toronto Maple Leafs game this Thursday, Nov. 2. The tickets are $125 each. Please fill out this form if you are interested or contact

AFT MA Fall Leadership Conference: November 4
Not able to make the BTU Leadership Conference? Join our state-level union siblings for a convention in Marlborough that offers training for building reps on grievance handling, training for bargaining and organizing committees, creating a contract campaign, and training from our legal department and meet fellow AFT-MA activists from across the state!

Homework Helper
The Boston Teachers Union has co-sponsored the Homework Helper Program with the Mayor’s Office and the Boston Public Library for 19 years. We have a BTU member at each library that is open late, one or two nights a week (Copley four nights), to help any child who is need of help with their homework. See the full schedule of locations.

NEW- Para 101 Training Sessions
Para 101 is about building a community of paras who are knowledgeable about their rights and are aware of the support and strategies that they can use to build stronger relationships with students and teachers in the classroom. You can register on the flyer.

NEW- Retirement Plus Seminar
The BTU, AFT Massachusetts’ and MTA are holding an information session covering several bills currently before the Joint Committee on Public Service, including updates on the status of one of our main priorities, Retirement Plus. Make sure to register ahead of time.

NEW- School Site Council Training Circular
The School Site Council plays a critical role in the hiring of teachers, performance reviews, advising on the school’s budget, and can waive provisions of the BTU/BPS contract or School Committee rules and regulations. Reclaim our collective power and attend some zoom trainings. Please see the flyer below for dates and times.



Professional Learning & Development Updates

Each week, we have many new and exciting Professional Learning & Development opportunities to share with you.

You can find a full description of each listing on our Professional Learning & Development Updates Page.

  • AFT Member Benefit Virtual Workshops
  • Asynchronous Spanish for BPS Educators: Fall 2023
  • NAEP 2024 Job Opportunity
  • Secondary Open Up Math Unit Virtual Previews
  • Degree Completion
  • Collaborative Problem Learning Site (K-12) 
  • Paid Inclusion and Anti-Racism Consultant for MFA Learning Programs
  • 2 Day Substance Use Prevention Training
  • Nearpod in the Inclusion Classroom PD Sessions: 11/15 and 11/29


Community News & Events

Boston Public School Green New Deal Decision-Making Rubric
BPS is holding virtual and in-person meetings to gather community input on how it should “grade” school buildings in order to identify the facilities that have the greatest needs. This is a chance to shape how BPS decides where to invest its money! BPS is holding multiple meetings throughout October, November and December. Make sure to register. 

18th Annual Schools on the Move Prize Ceremony: November 8
Each fall, Edvestors awards a $100,000 School on the Move Prize to a Boston Public School that has made significant strides in improving its culture and education. This ceremony will celebrate one of the three finalists.

Boston Partners in Education Mentorship
The BPIE has matched students with mentors for more than 50 years. Mentors meet with students in-person or online – for one hour a week – to help with classwork and homework. Any BPS student in grades K0-12 is eligible to be matched with a mentor in any school subject. Students can be nominated for a mentor on their website. 

Governor’s Youth Advisory Council: November 13
This Council will give young people from across the Commonwealth the opportunity to advise the Healey-Driscoll Administration on issues such as climate, education, mental health, gun violence, housing and more. Applicants must be between 16 and 21 years old.


BTU in the News

BPS has announced this year’s winners of the Educators of the Year awards. Thank you to our hardworking members for their dedication to their students: Tanisha Milton, Grade 8 History at TechBoston, Donald Neville, 7th Grade Math at Mildred Ave, Sally Ng, K2 at East Boston EEC, Nurse Deborah Doherty at the Burke, Paraprofessional Sheila Santana, Grade 4 Para at the Greenwood, Kelly Gallagher, Region 8 Social Worker, and Beth Rymarczyk, Occupational Therapist at the Beethoven.  We will be celebrating them at our membership meeting next week!

We’d also like to commend Connell Cloyd, a BTU educator and math teacher at the Henderson Upper School for receiving a national Barbara Henry Courage in Teaching Award. Henry was the only educator who taught Ruby Bridges when she was the first student to desegregate schools in New Orleans. 

Coincidentally, we are co-sponsoring the PBHA’s 17th Annual Robert Coles “Call of Service” Lecture & Award honoring Ruby Bridges on Thursday, November 9th at 6:00 PM at The Memorial Church (doors open at 5:30pm)! Ruby Bridges was six when she became the first African American child to integrate the white southern elementary school of William Frantz in Louisiana. This event is free and open to the public, RSVP here. Have a question for Ms. Bridges? Send them to, and we will submit it!

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