Furlough/seniority changes become law

The omnibus school code bill, Act 55 of 2017, became law on Nov. 5, 2017. Despite concerns about the furlough provisions, Governor Wolf allowed the bill to become law without his signature to ensure that state funds would be paid on time to public schools and to protect other provisions in the bill, including extending the moratorium on Keystone exams, requiring opioid abuse education and ending “lunch shaming” of students. AFTPA opposed the school code bill because it changes the way layoffs are conducted, places emphasis on a flawed evaluation system and interferes with collective bargaining rights.

Operation Agua will provide safe water to Puerto Ricans

Responding to the water crisis in Puerto Rico, the AFT; Operation Blessing International; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and the Hispanic Federation launched Operation Agua to crowdsource contributions and provide a reliable source of safe drinking water to families across Puerto Rico.

Unions chastise US Supreme Court ruling

The Janus case is a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the freedom to come together in strong unions. The forces behind this case know that by joining together in strong unions, working people are able to win the power and voice they need to level the economic and political playing field.

Kirsch calls PA Supreme Court ruling a win for students

AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch released the following statement about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to hear the school funding equity case. In a news release, Kirsch called it a win for students, parents and the commonwealth. A Commonwealth Court had rejected the case by six school districts, parents and organizations. Read Ted's comments.

 

Proposed education savings accounts are vouchers. Period.

A mid-state senator plans to push a bill authorizing education savings accounts, which are the latest iteration of school tuition vouchers. AFTPA President Ted Kirsch released a statement opposing this failed privatization strategy.  “Let’s not waste time going down this road again – when 20-years of research has shown privatization schemes such as these fail to raise student achievement," Kirsch said. "All students and communities deserve good, neighborhood public schools with the resources to address children’s needs. That’s where we should focus our attention and invest our tax dollars.”