Unions Invite Public to Participate in ‘Teach In: Defending Our Public Schools,’ Thursday, Online

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A coalition of educator unions is having an online “teach-in” Thursday to “fight against budget cuts, to defend the Student Opportunity Act and to support our public schools.”

Haverhill Education Association is joining with Merrimack Valley Educators United, American Federation of Teachers—Massachusetts, Greater Lawrence Education Justice Alliance and Massachusetts Teachers Association for “Teach In: Defending Our Public Schools,” taking place via Zoom, Thursday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. Haverhill Education Association Anthony J. Parolisi, one of the organizers, says history will be a guide.

“So, we’ve been developing a curriculum to kind of look at the history of austerity movements in the past. How they align with certain crises in history, how governments have responded—both successfully and less so—in terms of providing for the common good both during and after a crisis,” he explained.

Parolisi told WHAV how public participation will guide what follows.

“We’ll have some ideas, but also be looking to the people who participate for what their thoughts are, what their vision is for the schools we need when we go back and also what their concerns are because there’s obviously a lot of intersection between funding our schools and returning from this pandemic,” he said.

Merrimack Valley Educators United said it expects elected officials to fully fund schools without budget cuts; keep city workers fully employed without layoffs, furloughs or pay freezes; use free cash and rainy-day money to avoid cuts in public services; “explore ethical and just ways” to meet community needs, such as endorsing a proposed “Fair Share Amendment” that would add a 4% tax on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million; and work with educators and unions to reopen schools only when it is safe.

The regional coalition ins inviting educators, residents and community members to participate. Online registration takes place at tinyurl.com/MVEUTeachIn.

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