AFT marks anniversary of Brown v. Board decision
On May 17, AFT members and leaders marked the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that desegregated public schools. AFT President Randi Weingarten traveled to Topeka, Kan., the city where the Brown case originated, to participate in several events, including a rally and a march from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka to the state Capitol. "The legacy of Brown v. Board of Education is to create the opportunities in our public schools so that all kids, of all races and income levels, can succeed," she said. "Today's moral imperative is to give our kids a great public education system by fixing—not closing—neighborhood public schools."
Parents, teachers, school support staff, students and community members staged other activities in cities across the country, including Boston; Chicago; Detroit; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; and St. Paul, Minn.
Read the full story at AFT.org
Check out a video highlighting the events
AFT members mobilize for equity
Earlier this month, hundreds of parents, educators, students and community activists from New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities rallied in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., to reclaim the promise of equitable education. Charles Brothers (pictured), a retired AFT member from St. Lucie County, Fla., who attended the rally, said the nation needs to take a closer look at educating all children. "I think we haven't taken the time—politically and socially—to really understand what we really do want out of education," said Brothers. "We've proved that until we address these issues, the promise of Brown v. Board will be harder to fulfill."
All during May, the AFT, joined by affiliates and individual members, mobilized for public action in the fight to reclaim the promise of high-quality healthcare, public schools, higher education, public services and a secure retirement. Affiliates across the country focused attention on the urgent need to restore equity to national, state and local policies.
Read more at AFT.org
Check out the Mobilization May calendar of events
Ask 'Dear Marci'
In this month's "Dear Marci," Elizabeth writes: "I have a Medicare prescription drug plan, but I need additional help paying for my drugs. My friend told me to check if I'm eligible for Extra Help. What is Extra Help?"
See what Marci has to say
Two AFT members to enter Teachers Hall of Fame
Two AFT members will be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in June. The inductees are Rebecca Palacios, left, a retired teacher from the Corpus Christi (Texas) Independent School District, and Marguerite Izzo, a fifth-grade teacher in the Malverne (N.Y.) Union Free School District. "Rebecca Palacios' intelligence and passion as an educator and activist makes her a perfect choice for the National Teachers Hall of Fame," says AFT President Randi Weingarten. And Izzo, Weingarten says, makes a difference every day in the lives of her students and her community. "As one of her students says, 'She wants us to be on top and aim high in the world when we grow up.' The passion and enthusiasm Marguerite brings to her job affects everyone around her, from students to teachers to parents. She never hesitates to take time to help a child or a colleague."
Read more at AFT.org
Talking with your kids about aging
In a recent edition of the Washington Post, columnist Michelle Singletary discusses the book "The Other Talk: A Guide to Talking with Your Adult Children About the Rest of Your Life," by Tim Prosch. Singletary notes that the Pew Research Center found that 47 percent of adults say it is likely that they will be responsible for caring for an aging parent or another elderly family member. Many books on the subject focus on what adult children can do to handle the situation, Singletary writes, but Prosch thinks older adults should be proactive about talking with their adult children while they're still physically and mentally able to lead the conversation.
Read the column
Retirees in Nevada lend their support
Dick Collins (far left) and Rich Miller (far right), who are AFT retirees and leaders with the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans, pose with Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Erin Bilbray at a luncheon hosted by labor in Las Vegas in April. The Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans is supporting Bilbray, who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Stand against Rubio's plan for retirement security
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced legislation this month to "ensure" retirement security. Rubio's legislation would gradually increase the retirement age for Social Security and transition Medicare into a "premium support" system where seniors are given federal vouchers to purchase insurance. Rubio's plans to raise the retirement age and to privatize Social Security and Medicare would increase wealth inequality, transferring the only guarantees that most Americans have for a secure retirement to Wall Street bankers and insurance companies, says the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Rubio says his proposal to raise the retirement age would "account for the rise in life expectancy." The ARA notes that Rubio's "Wall Street friends may be living longer, but life expectancy is powerfully tied to socioeconomic status; raising the retirement age harms minorities and low-wage workers—people who rely on Social Security in great part for their retirement income and contribute steadily through their working years."
Read more from the Alliance for Retired Americans
Take a stand with the ARA and sign the petition
In This Issue
Reflecting on the promise of Brown v. Board
Mobilizing for equity
AFT members named to the Teacher Hall of Fame
Talking about aging
Fight for retirement security