Topic: Support Professionals

Restoring Scholarships for Educational Aides to Earn Teaching Degrees is a Top Texas AFT Priority

Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi urged the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee today to help restore funding for one of the state’s most effective programs of teacher recruitment and retention—the tuition exemption for educational aides that since 1997 has made it possible for classroom paraprofessionals in large numbers to receive state financial aid to pursue a bachelor’s degree leading...

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AFT’s Answer to Attacks on Public Education, Public Services: “Solution-Driven Unionism”

AFT President Randi Weingarten kicked off the American Federation of Teachers national convention in Detroit on Friday with a call for “solution-driven unionism” that answers ongoing attacks on public education and public-sector workers with problem-solving policy initiatives of our own. “We need to act in innovative, creative, and new ways—simultaneously refuting our critics, advancing our values, connecting with community and...

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Texas AFT Local in San Antonio Scores Win for Staff and Students

When custodians in San Antonio ISD faced layoffs and cuts in their hours for the 2010-11 school year as the result of budget cuts, there was a snowball effect. First, the custodians who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs soon were forced to work more hours (oftentimes uncompensated) to perform the duties of their former co-workers. Next, it snowballed...

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Fair Work for Fair Pay: Aldine AFT Wins Advocacy Award

Congratulations to Aldine AFT for winning the national AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Union Workplace Advocacy Award. Our affiliate for Aldine ISD in the Houston area was presented the honor at the AFT PSRP Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 22, for its "Fair Work for Fair Pay" campaign. The campaign highlighted the story of Gloria Zavala, a custodian...

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Houston ISD Bus Drivers Demand Action for Discipline, Safety

Discipline and safety problems on school buses are receiving new attention from the Houston ISD school administration, thanks to an effort to publicize those problems today by members of the Houston Educational Support Personnel Union (one of two Texas AFT affiliates in Houston ISD). On Tuesday, April 10, dozens of HESP members who drive HISD school buses gathered at district...

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Texas AFT Member Nominated for “Everyday Hero” Award

Each year, AFT recognizes with an “Everyday Hero” award members who inspire us all to make a difference in our chosen fields and in our communities. Semifinalists for the award have been chosen from each AFT division--representing teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher-education staff and faculty, health-care professionals, public employees and retirees—and you can cast your vote online for each...

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Enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act—Aldine AFT Scores a Big Win

Aldine ISD, one of the largest suburban school districts in the Houston area and in the state as a whole, was the scene of a big win for on-the-job fairness last month. When veteran custodian Gloria Zavala reported that she was being required to work overtime without additional pay at her newly assigned school, Aldine AFT filed an associational grievance...

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Texas AFT Paraprofessionals Share Views on Needs of Students With Disabilities

Keep an eye out for the January-February 2012 edition of the PSRP Reporter (AFT’s national publication for paraprofessionals and school-related personnel), which prominently features three Texas AFT paraprofessionals talking about their work with students with disabilities. Judy Chase, a member from Humble, minces no words in her “AFT Voices” comment on the intense demands and low pay associated with this...

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Nominate An Everyday Hero

Do you know an AFT member who makes a difference every day with an unwavering commitment to his or her work or community?  This Thanksgiving, say “thanks” by nominating that person to be a 2012 AFT Everyday Hero at www.aft.org/everydayheroes. Too often, AFT members’ good deeds and dedication to their professions and communities go unnoticed. Here is an opportunity to...

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Impact of State Budget Cuts: Case in Point

A Public News Service radio story on “bottom-up cuts stretching school labor thin” in Texas is worth quoting in full, and not just because it features Texas AFT’s local affiliate in San Antonio ISD. Here's the story: “There's a growing labor crisis in Texas schools, as districts respond to sweeping reductions in state education aid. From Corpus to Dallas, many...

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Paraprofessionals, Have Your Say: Working With Students With Disabililties

A new question has been posted this week on the “AFT Voices” Web site, specifically directed to paraprofessionals who deal with students with disabilities. Here’s the question:  “What is the most pressing issue facing paraprofessionals who work with students with disabilities?”  You can have your say by leaving a comment at this site:  http://www.aft.org/voices/singlequestion.cfm?qid=112. To see all the prior questions...

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National AFT Leader, in Austin on Back-to-School Tour, Spotlights Teachers and Bus Drivers “Making A Difference Every Day”

AFT Executive Vice President Lorretta Johnson was in Austin on September 7, where she visited with drivers at a school bus barn and toured an elementary school where an innovative partnership involving teachers, administrators, and the business community supports the efforts of successful educators who are helping to raise student academic achievement. Johnson's visit to Austin was part of the...

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