We are thrilled to share that this afternoon, Governor Baker is expected to sign the Student Opportunity Act. We are grateful for the years of advocacy that union educators along with community members and legislators including Boston Rep. Sonia Chang-Diaz have put in to fight for the funding our students deserve.
This legislation will have a lasting impact on schools across the Commonwealth and here in Boston. We are proud of the BTU’s contributions to this historic victory. From phonebanking to signing postcards to visiting your legislators, our members put in the work it took to get us here. We did this — our voices were heard loud and clear.
We aren’t stopping here. We turn our focus now to implementation and ensuring the funding gets to the students and schools that need them the most. School budgets will be formed soon, and we are committed to supporting new leaders in carrying on this work and continuing to strengthen our movement.
Our Teacher Leadership Working Group, in partnership with BPS, is working toward creating a sustainable teacher leadership strategy that supports and retains educators. A key part of this process is gathering data and hearing from colleagues about all of the ways that Boston teachers are currently leading. TLWG has released a survey and they want to hear from you.
As we approach the presidential election, we are excited for the opportunity for political engagement and are asking reps to organize 2020 Election Teach-Ins. We hope to have discussions and hear from members about what you are looking for in a presidential candidate as well as create opportunities for education and engagement in the election. You can learn more about the candidates on the AFTvotes website and find information on how to organize a Teach-In on our website.
On the contract front, BPS had previously shared that it would tentatively be in November’s paycheck. Unfortunately, a recent update stated that it will now likely happen in December. We understand the frustration and will continue to provide updates as we receive them. We will also be meeting to discuss the K-6 transition plan and the impact that will have on our schools. The coaches committee met yesterday, BTU members have been appointed to the citywide committee to support homeless students, and the negotiating team will be meeting next week to resume negotiations.
Per our new contract, most schools will be dismissing two hours early tomorrow.
Lastly, we wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. As educators, we want to ensure that our students learn about the history of holidays and traditions in ways that are accurate and meaningful. Teaching Tolerance is one of many websites with tools to help guide conversations around the holiday.
Have a wonderful and restful holiday break!