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September 28, 2020

Senator Elizabeth Warren Michigan Labor Virtual Rally Tuesday

On Tuesday, September 29, at 3:00 p.m., Senator Elizabeth Warren will host a pre-debate virtual rally with union members from across the Great Lakes State. Senator Warren will discuss what is at stake for labor and working families this November — including protections for people with pre-existing conditions — and encourage union members to mobilize their networks to help elect Joe Biden. With early in-person voting underway in Michigan, this event will also focus on the importance of getting registered and voting early. As a nice bonus, AFT Michigan Member & Community Mobilizer Nikhol Atkins will be introducing Sen. Warren. Click this link to sign up:  MI Debate Day Labor Rally with Senator Elizabeth Warren

2020-21 State Budget Passes House and Senate

Last Wednesday, the Michigan House and Senate approved the state budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins October 1. Despite fears that Covid-19 would lead to deep cuts, the overall budget ended up providing small increases in most areas. Education budget highlights include:

  • Last year’s foundation allowance will remain the same, and all districts will receive an additional $65 per pupil, plus additional funding for at-risk students.
  • School support staff workers will receive a one-time hazard payment of $250.
  • A new PreK-12 teacher retention incentive will provide $500 to $1000 stipends to first-year teachers who complete the school year. 
  • Higher Education funding levels will increase very slightly over last year’s budget. 

Union Panel Discussion With State Rep Candidate Andrea Kelly Garrison – Sept 30

Our panel discussion will focus on what unions can do to impact the election in Michigan. Panelists include:

  • Steve Dawes, UAW Region 1D
  • Bob King, Former UAW President & Labor Activist
  • David Hecker, President of the American Federation for Teachers Michigan (AFT Michigan)
  • Paula Herbart, President of the Michigan Education Association (MEA)
  • Gregory Remington, Business Manager, I.B.E.W 948

Details on the signup page here:

Upcoming Professional Development

Close Reading and A Case Study of the Armenian Genocide Part Two

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Virtual Online Class from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This in-service will pursue Close Reading strategies and implementation, while engaging in hands-on learning activities by exploring relevant resources to use in the classroom.  Participants will also explore modern-era genocide through its prototype, the Armenian Genocide.

Register here.

AFT Professional Learning

You can register now for more than 15 webinars being offered in the new Civic Education and the 2020 Election collection on Share My Lesson. More will be added as they become available.

Election 2020: Teaching in Unpredictable Times – Oct. 1, at 5 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

In a time of multiple and overlapping crises—the COVID-19 pandemic, a national reckoning on race and injustice, political polarization, and threats to voting rights and access—how will you teach about the November election? Join Facing History and Ourselves to explore approaches to teaching the election that focus on the history of voting, the health of democracy, the factors that shape our civic decision-making, and the power of youth agency and voice. We’ll feature strategies to foster civil and democratic discourse in your classrooms and share teaching ideas that build media literacy, civic engagement and connections between curriculum and students’ everyday lives.

Learning to Speak Across Political Divides: Using PURPLE in the Classroom – Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

Designed to build greater empathy and recognition in the face of deepening U.S. divides, the short film PURPLE models a rare conversation that uplifts and inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences. Filmed in rural Wisconsin and Iowa—in a swing region within two bordering swing states—PURPLE models what healthy public debate on fault-line issues can look like. The film will engage students and help them understand divergent opinions on current political and social issues on their own terms, while discussing the value of doing so for our democracy.

The film is a great fit for civics, government, history, debate, social studies and humanities courses, and helps teach civic skills and dispositions. The film and lesson plan are best suited for students in grades 6-12 and up.

Melissa Weintraub, the founding co-executive director of Resetting the Table and one of the creators of PURPLE, will be the presenter. Following a screening of the 20-minute film, she will walk through a suggested post-screening process that teaches two key skills that students need to engage in productive conversations across divides and to participate effectively in our democracy.

Power to the Students: A Nonpartisan Guide for Empowering Youth to Engage in Elections – Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

Students have a lot of power to influence our country’s elections at both the local and federal levels. Help put the power back in your students’ hands with tips and strategies from a new Students Power Elections guide, created by iCivics and a team of high school students. 

Register for all new civics and election 2020 webinars

In solidarity,

David Hecker, President

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