Monday, April 26, 2010

Proposals for AFT Convention from Michigan

Dear fellow AFT member,

The two resolutions below were submitted to AFT Michigan on Friday, for consideration at the May 15th state convention.

I urge you to consider submitting them to your own state convention as well, if possible, and your AFT local.

My understanding is that only state federations and locals can submit them to the AFT National Convention in July.

Both resolutions were written by the Defend Public Education / Save Our Students Caucus of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. As you may already know, our slate swept the DFT elections for national delegates in March.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Steve Conn
Detroit Federation of Teachers delegate to the 2010 AFT National and Michigan Conventions

Resolution that the AFT Sponsor a National March on Washington, DC In Defense of Public Education


1. Public education is the most universally popular democratic, egalitarian gain of the last 100 years of American history. It is our nation’s most effective collective mechanism for achieving equality and integration – the entire basis for American progress in the new century.

2. The many and various efforts to attack, weaken, and dismantle public education threaten our entire country with a devastating historical setback.

3. The proud history of the American Federation of Teachers is one of consistently defending, strengthening and improving public education as a fundamental democratic right for all Americans. The AFT has a unique and exceptionally important role to play in the struggles taking place around the country to defend public education.


  1. That the American Federation of Teachers will organize a million-strong March on Washington, DC in Defense of Public Education this fall.
  2. That the demands of the March on Washington to Defend Public Education will be, “End the ‘Race To The Top’ Scheme now; Release All Federal Funds to the States Based on Need; End the Attacks Against Teachers, Black, Latina/o, and Poor, Working-Class and Middle-Class Students of All Races; No Privatization of Public Education; No More Separate and Unequal; Build the New, Youth-led Civil Rights Movement; and Restore Dr. Martin Luther King’s Vision for America.”
  3. That the AFT will contact and encourage all potential allies in building this historic mobilization, including the National Education Association and other unions, students, civil rights groups, community organizations, local school boards and parent associations.

Resolution that Our Union Not Participate in the Race to the Top Grant Application Process, and Instead Demand the Dispersal of all Federal Education Funds on the Basis of Need, Not Arne Duncan’s Political Agenda


1. The Race to the Top is an attack on public education. It is fundamentally based on using federal funds raised through public taxes to push a politically charged, educationally ruinous agenda of privatization and union-busting. This is an agenda that has absolutely no popular support anywhere in the country, once it is exposed for what it truly is. Race to the Top will increase inequality based on race and class.

2. It is precisely in order to conceal the real aims and affects of his agenda, that Arne Duncan is so concerned to have teachers’ union participation in the grant application process. Teachers can destroy much of Duncan’s momentum simply by publicly speaking the truth about what would really happen to our students if his plans were implemented.


1. That the AFT and its state and local affiliates will not participate in the Race to the Top grant application process.

2. That the AFT and its state and local affiliates will instead vigorously demand that the federal government disperse all federal education funds to the states and cities based on need.

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