Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.
Community schools provide wrap-around services that help close the gap between students' needs and their ability to focus on school and learning. Baltimore is fortunate to have a number of community schools that serve students and families as well as the communities the schools are in. One of those schools is Wolfe Street Academy, a school that went from a low-ranking status several years ago to top-ranking, going remarkably from the 77th rank elementary school to the 2nd in the span of a decade. The school was the site of a visit from AFT President Randi Weingarten. She was joined on the visit by AFT-Maryland President Kenya Campbell and Baltimore Teachers Union President Diamonté Brown.
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Maryland Professional Employees Council (MPEC) Local 6197, kicked off a contract campaign for state workers in Unit G. The union is in negotiations with the state for a new contract and is seeking to educate members on the existing contract, as well as rally support for demands to be included in the new contract. To accomplish this, the union will visit worksites from late October through mid-November.
AFT-Maryland continued our practice of school tours during the first week of the new school year. The purpose of the tour is to welcome students and staff back to school, and to remind education professionals that their union is here to support them during the school year.
Read on to take a look at a recap of our visits, including photos & a video.
Rain may have canceled Wolfe Street Academy’s Wolfe Fest, but it was not going to stop AFT-Maryland from distributing books to students as a part of the Reading Opens the World program. The state federation joined the south Baltimore school for their Family Social Studies Night. The event brought families into the school to inform parents about the curriculum students are learning. The night also served as a great way to connect the Wolfe Street school community with the larger south Baltimore community. Students presented displays of their work as well as made videos that families and loved ones watched demonstrating what they’ve learned in Social Studies this school year. AFT-Maryland was on hand with a beautiful display of books for families to take home.
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The 2023 Maryland legislative session held much promise following the tireless get out the vote efforts of AFT-Maryland and our AFL-CIO affiliates. Our dogged canvassing and all-hands-on-deck effort during the 2022 election bore fruit during the legislative session. Following the inauguration of the first African-American Governor in Maryland’s history and newly elected state Delegates and Senators taking their seats, AFT-Maryland got down to business. Despite the amount of turnover heading into the session, one thing remained true: AFT-Maryland would fight for our 18,000 members. And fight we did, racking up impressive wins and commanding the attention of political leaders across the state. The following bills passed both houses and have been signed or are currently awaiting Gov. Moore’s signature: CLICK TO READ > > >