Boston (Sept 23, 2017)- Thousands of Boston-area public school families attended a fun-filled and educational back-to-school fair, September 23 sponsored by the Boston Teachers Union. Among the attractions were music and activities for students of all ages, free books and educational materials, and resources for parents from community partners.
Educators in Boston Public Schools recently settled a new contract with the district that includes improvements for students and families advocated for by BTU educators. Key features of the contract included an increase to the number of school nurses, a commitment to joint labor-management work, training to ensure the best possible education experience for all students, and greater investments in “restorative practices” aimed at reducing suspensions and expulsions by providing additional social and emotional supports to students.
Meanwhile, BTU educators have been actively campaigning to protect Boston students and families from the threat to immigration protections for individuals who arrived in the country as children or as refugees. BTU leaders and educators recently united with Boston Public Schools officials to advocate for additional school funding during legislative hearings at the State House.
“This year’s back-to-school fair was an opportunity to celebrate the unity we are building among educators, families, BPS officials, city leaders and the community in advocating for the best public schools possible,” said Jessica Tang, who took office earlier this year as president of the Boston Teachers Union. Tang is the first woman of color to lead the 10,000-member local. “We have started this school year with a wonderful event that celebrates reading and literacy while also celebrating our diverse community and providing a fun, free day of activities for students and families. We hope to continue this spirit throughout the year.
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The Boston Teachers Union proudly represents more than 10,000 teachers and other professionals including nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals, and substitute teachers. Together, we advocate for the interests of students, parents and education professionals throughout the Boston Public Schools. We support investment in public education to ensure a stronger future for our students and our city. As a union of educators, we are part of a movement that seeks to improve the quality of life for all working people and their children. We are united against all forms of prejudice and bigotry that would seek to devalue the lives or liberties of our students, families, or colleagues.