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Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

The AFT calls for freedom to teach

AFT President Randi Weingarten today delivered a major address on the crisis hollowing out the teaching profession—massive disinvestment in public education and deprofessionalization. In her speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., she called for reinvestment and freedom to teach. It was followed by two panels featuring education leaders who laid out pragmatic solutions.

Your vote is your voice

AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

‘Back to school’ like never before

In her September New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten says that going back to school has never looked like it does now. Weingarten explains that because of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has been chaotic, contradictory and inept, and the lack of federal guidance and funding, we’re seeing a patchwork of school reopening plans across the country.

The Faces of Unionism

The Janus vs. AFMSCE Supreme Court decision is expected to be decided this June. EdMN President Specht suggests we show our solidarity by taking selfies with the word "Union", and posting them on our social media.

Here are some examples from this weekend's training

Supporting Union Teachers (and their children)

Burnsville Teachers (District 191) have been teaching all year without a contract. We support the contract and bargaining rights of all teachers, and join them in their fight.

Seen here are WBLTA President Michael McKenzie, and his daughter Tori, a 191 middle school teacher.

Education Minnesota programs and offerings: What's new, what's different?

 

 

Once again, welcome to the new academic year! I hope your first week or weeks back have been exciting and fulfilling!

 
As we face a new environment in a post-Janus world, Education Minnesota is responding by making changes and adding new programs that will help us thrive going forward.

 

This"What's New, What's Different?" booklet outlines the major changes leaders will see in the programs and offerings from Education Minnesota and the points of contact in each area.

As always, let your field staff know if you have questions about program offerings from your state union.

 
Together,

Denise-sig

 

 

 

Denise Specht, President
Denise.Specht@edmn.org 
Twitter: @Denise Specht 
Facebook: Denise Specht 
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Important Dates
Sept. 21
Early voting begins.

Oct. 18
MEA Conference, St. Paul

Nov. 6
Election Day

 

 

WBLTA Certified Negotiators

Congratulations to our newest WBLTA Certified Negotiators!

From left: Michelle Padden, Abbi Case, Becky Butters, Karin Hogen, John Forestell, Tony Walfoort, Ben Kirkham

Gov. Walz Signs "Snow Day Relief" Bill

Governor Tim Walz signed the "Snow Day Relief" bill yesterday. The bill holds school districts harmless for the up to 15 days some of them had off for weather emergencies. More importantly, it allows districts to not make the days up and requires them to pay hourly employees for lost time.