Tuesday at the NEA convention, we spent most of the day discussing business and passed over 30 new business items that dealt with a wide range of issues such as advocating for registering high school students who can vote, advocating for more CTE classes, getting more training to prevent suicide, and removing tests like the PRAXIS from stopping teachers from entering the profession.
Mandy Manning, from Washington, was named NEA Teacher of the Year. She gave a beautiful speech that focused on making sure that we accept all students no matter where they originate. She had two students from her district, one who graduated and another just entering high school. They told stories of their upbringing and how they believe in public education. In fact, one of the students said that “Education has no borders”. Her line received a standing ovation.
NEA Executive Director John Stocks talked about that our advocacy must include not only our brothers and sisters in labor but also partners in the community who would be able to help us win on our issues. We have seen the value in these partnerships between FEA over the last few years as we have worked with Invest in Fairfax and the SA4FE Coalition. The FEA, whether or not the Constitutional Amendment on Community Partners is passed, will be ready to accept community partners next year.
Debate will continue this week and we will have one more blog post that will focus on our Constitutional Amendments and other New Business Items.