We have prepared this online Back-to-School 2022 Resource Bank to provide you and your family with important issue and benefit updates.
We build power by increasing participation in the union movement, by winning elections and the public narrative, and by engaging members and communities. Building community inside and outside our union is about creating concentric circles of trust, forming coalitions and using campaigns as an organizing principle. As a union of professionals, we want what the children, families and communities we serve need. We are fighting for the R-E-S-P-E-C-T that public school employees and students deserve. Keep in touch with our Respect Campaign at www.texasaft.org/respect.
Make Updates | Take Our Pledge | Sign Up
Message from Zeph Capo, Texas AFT President
Zeph Capo, Texas AFT President | On behalf of the 66,000 members of the Texas American Federation of Teachers (AFT), we are excited to have you safely return for the 2022-2023 school year. This page provides information about member benefits and materials related to important topics and issues we will be working on together over the next year, including our Respect Campaign. Share our collective work with your co-workers and invite them to join our union.
Respect Campaign | #RespectUsExpectUs
Respect Campaign: Win the Respect You and Your Students Deserve
Join Our Respect Campaign Today!
We need every member to take action: (1) ask your co-workers to join our union, (2) attend local union meetings and stay informed, (3) vote in all upcoming elections, (4) take part in local and state actions, and (5) never quit as this is a long campaign to lift up our professions and to improve working conditions — the learning conditions for our schoolchildren — for all public schools employees.
Texas AFT New Report | Texas Needs Teachers!
In a call to action, the Texas AFT reached out to Battelle for Kids (BFK), a national not-for-profit serving K-12 education systems for over 20 years, to facilitate conversations with a broad geographic distribution of teachers to not only uncover contributing factors, but to surface solutions and give voice to those closest to the work. This paper presents the findings from a series of focus groups conducted in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley. Texas Needs Teachers! synthesizes the perspectives of the dedicated teachers who contributed to advance this important discussion. Teacher voice needs to be incorporated into shaping the path forward. In order to solve this critical teacher shortage, we must create deeper understanding of what it is like to be a modern teacher and align solutions accordingly.
Join Our Texas AFT Task Force on Working Conditions
This fall, we’re convening a task force of AFT members to help us dig deeper into the specific issues we’ve highlighted in our recent report, Texas Needs Teachers! During these sessions, task force members can expect to discuss the following areas (and more that you identify!): class size, workload, and the Paperwork Reduction Act. If you’re interested in participating, please submit your contact information via our form, and Texas AFT will be in touch!
The task force will meet five times virtually this fall:
- Wednesday, Sept. 14: 6-8 p.m. CT
- Wednesday, Sept. 28: 6-8 p.m. CT
- Wednesday, Oct. 12: 6-8 p.m. CT
- Wednesday, Oct. 26: 6-8 p.m. CT
- Wednesday, Nov. 2: 6-8 p.m. CT
AFT New Report | Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?
AFT’s national Teacher and School Staff Shortage Task Force released a report, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? The report outlines targeted solutions to ensure educators have the tools, time, trust, and training they need to do their jobs and to stay in their jobs. The report offers practical, research-proven solutions to reverse the shortages and revitalize the education profession, and emphasizes treating teachers and school staff like the professionals they are, with time to plan and prepare for classes, the chance to collaborate with colleagues, the power to make day-to-day school decisions, and ongoing professional development so they can grow in their careers.
Texas AFT Report | The Lost Decade
In “The Lost Decade,” a report published in April 2022, Texas AFT and Every Texan revealed startling trends in Texas’ funding of public schools, as well as the effects that underfunding has had on teacher and staff salaries. If our state and local leaders fail to address issues like back-sliding pay, we will continue to see headlines about massive teacher and staff shortages, and we will continue to lose hard-working, experienced educators.
You Have the Political Power to Make Big Changes. Are You Ready to Make a Difference?
We have battled through a global pandemic, and we have fought together through multiple legislative sessions this year. Now is our time to make our voices heard and to make real change. To do that, though, we need to fund our future. Help us by (1) making a voluntary contribution to help us elect pro-public school candidates; (2) become a political volunteer; and (3) if you are savvy with social media, then join our Texas AFT Digital Organizing Squad. Together, we can make a difference.
Member Benefits | The Power of Union Membership
AFT+ Member Benefits Guide
As an Texas AFT member, you belong to a community of colleagues. We understand the power of joining together— in our work, in our communities and in the marketplace. At AFT, we have our own marketplace—AFT + Member Benefits—which combines the purchasing power of AFT’s 1.7 million members with the benefit offerings of Union Plus, the AFL-CIO’s benefit arm. This gives you a rich array of discounts, services and benefits that go beyond the workplace. Many of these programs are available to family members, too.
Share My Lesson | Back-to-School Resources
As we head back to school and to a new normal this fall, join our community, Share My Lesson, where you can find and share resources and ideas on topics such as safely reopening schools, hybrid and distance learning, social emotional support, anti-racism education and more. Register here for all new back-to-school webinars.
Share My Lesson Brochures
Know Your Rights
Use our Know Your Rights resource pages to learn more about your rights as a public school employee in the workplace, including your rights to join a union or enjoy a duty-free lunch. You can access our library of Know Your Rights resources. If you have any questions about an experience on the job, contact us at 1-800-222-3827.
Professional Learning & You
As a member of the American Federation of Teachers, you have access to a variety of programs and resources designed to enhance your professional growth. This brochure highlights many of these opportunities. You can also visit aft.org/education, email email@example.com or contact your local union. By addressing the professional needs of our educator members, we are able to help them become even more successful in their careers; in their union; in the institutions in which they work; and in serving the students, families and communities they serve.
Managing Student Behavior
Our union provides many resources and workshops helping our members manage student behavior. Use these resources as a guide and sign up for a future workshop hosted by our Texas AFT Bridges Institute for Professional Development.
Texas AFT Student Debt Clinics
The rising cost of higher education has led more than 45 million people in the United States to seek out student loans to finance their pursuit of higher education, borrowing over $1.6 trillion. Of these borrowers, 1 in 4 are now in distress—they’re behind on, or not able to pay, the full amount of their monthly payments, or they have gone into default. Relief is available for borrowers in distress, but student loan servicers and the U.S. Department of Education seem to confuse or misdirect borrowers as often as they help them.
All clinics will take place online via Zoom. Zoom instructions will be provided in your registration’s confirmation email. All clinics are free to attend and will last for 90-minutes.
Student Debt Clinics & Times
- July 27 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- August 10 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- August 31 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- September 14 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Trauma Counseling Program
AFT members work hard—now more than ever—to educate, heal, help and serve our communities. Sometimes our ownstress is compounded by a personal or workplace trauma; still, we struggle to be fully present for others. Now the AFT is offering a new, free benefit—trauma counseling—to provide help and healing for our members, whenever needed, wherever a member may be.
Introducing Summer | New AFT Member Benefit
Support for our members with student debt doesn’t end when they leave the debt clinic. AFT has partnered with Summer—an online resource that helps borrowers navigate the student loan repayment landscape.
Summer’s borrower success team helps our members enroll in and manage the paperwork for income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, find other debt relief programs that are available, and tailor student loan repayment options to their individual needs.
Hurricane & Emergency Preparedness Resources
In Times of Great Need, We Stand #UnionStrong with Our Members
Hurricane season has started, and communities in the Caribbean, up and down the Atlantic and along the Gulf Coast are all in the potential hurricane zone. While federal and state government will help, our union family must respond to this crisis, just as we have done with previous disasters. On our Disaster Relief & Emergency Preparedness page, we’ve collected various resources that can help our fellow union members, friends and family in the wake of disaster.
Organizing Materials | Build Union Power at Your Worksite
Ask Your Co-Workers to Join You
Download and share these organizing materials with your co-workers. Ask others to join you in your movement to win respect. Additional details may be found at:
About AFT Booklet
As you’ll see in this booklet, AFT fights to solve the problems that are keeping you up at night. In recent years, we added just-in-time benefits, including trauma counseling with highly trained therapists and student debt relief through our partner Summer. Tackling the problems of recruitment and retention, we created task forces that bring together our affiliates’ leaders with top researchers to address critical staffing shortages in schools and hospitals. And because we know that your students’ troubles keep you up as much as your own, we added a wide array of social, emotional and academic resources on Share My Lesson. Rest assured, when you join AFT, you’re joining like-minded professionals who fight for a better America. Our power comes from our values, our vision and our dedication to engaging with families and communities.
Social Media | Like + Follow + Engage
- Texas AFT Page | Click to Like & Follow
- You Know You Work in TX Schools When | Click to Like & Follow
- School House Votes Private Group | Click to Like & Follow
- Texas AFT T-TESS Page | Click to Like & Follow
- Bridges Institute for Professional Development Page | Click to Like & Follow
- Texas AFT Retiree Plus | Click to Like & Follow
- Texas AFT Page | Click to Follow @TexasAFT
- Texas AFT Page | Click to Follow @TexasAFT
- Texas AFT Channel | Click to Subscribe