AFSCME supports an ambitious new effort launched this week by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) that seeks high-quality public education for all in schools and colleges across the country.
Called “Fund Our Future,” the campaign comes as thousands of teachers have joined walkouts and protests in states like Arizona, Colorado, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and more to demand adequate funding of public schools. And it is further proof that communities across America are more than ready for major improvements to our public education system.
“AFSCME will engage our members who work in schools and higher education as well as those for whom public education is a key issue in this campaign,” reads a resolution approved this week by our union’s International Executive Board. “Together we will stand in solidarity with AFT and ensure that the promise of public education – from pre-K through college and university – is realized for all.”
The campaign will deploy legislative initiatives, strategies and national demands with some of the following goals:
- fully fund Title I, for low-income students;
- fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
- increase investment in school infrastructure;
- secure operating funds at the national and state levels to counteract disinvestment in public colleges and universities;
- and forgive outstanding student loan debt under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
More than 90 events have been scheduled across the country, including informational pickets, town hall meetings, forums, marches, protests and lobby days, according to AFT. More are being planned.
“Our campaign is not one size fits all— it’s tailored to different funding needs and issues,” says AFT. “But the goal of ‘Fund Our Future’ is the same everywhere: ensuring that the public schools and colleges that embrace all of our children have the funding they need to provide the opportunities students deserve.”