The July Newsletter

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― JULY ―

Can you believe summer is almost over? Sometimes it can feel like things never slow down, but as we prepare for the back-to-school season to begin, here are some July highlights:

TEACHERS TEACHING TEACHERS

This month LFT leaders joined educators from all over the country at AFT Teach in Washington D.C. The conference featured a variety of sessions that addressed topics facing the teaching profession, students, schools and communities. The speakers focused on how to not only create an engaging discussion around these issues, but also to provide participants with tools, resources and strategies to use back home. Terri Johnson, President of Calcasieu Federation of Teachers and School Employees, has been to every AFT Teach for the last dozen years. She remarked that "it was the best Teach convention I've been to because some of the sessions were more in depth in the subject areas for teachers that have more experience in the classroom." To learn more about the biennial conference, click here.

Later this same month, LFT President Larry Carter represented Louisiana and the entire American Federation of Teachers at the Education International World Congress in Asia. The theme of this year's Congress was "Educators and Their Unions Taking the Lead" in honor of the great success teachers and support staff have had in fighting for change through the collective power of their Unions. To learn more about the EI World Congress, click here.

 

BACK-TO-SCHOOL PREPARATIONS

It feels like last year just ended, but teachers and support staff all over the state are already preparing to get back in the classroom. LFT members and staff are working to prepare vital informational packets, goodie-bags, and orientation materials for new educators and Union members -- and in some parts of the state orientations have already begun! Make sure to stay in touch with your Local Union leaders to ensure that every new teacher and school employee has an opportunity to join the Federation right away!

For most teachers and support staff in Louisiana, back-to-school means back-to-school-shopping: click here to check up on the latest teacher-discounts.

NEW BOOKS FOR NEW MEMBERS

This back to school session, LFT and AFT have partnered with a nation-wide nonprofit organization called First Book to get books in the hands of students and families in need. New members – teachers and support staff – who work in schools with economically disadvantaged students, will have access to a $50 gift code to purchase books of their choice through the First Book Marketplace. Just make sure your Local has your personal email so that you get the coupon code, which will go out between August 19th - August 23rd via email. In the meantime, make sure to sign up for a free membership with First Book so you can see their wide selection of highly rated books with discounts of up to 90% off the retail cost: www.firstbook.org/AFTOMG.

PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

Congress started the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program in 2007, because they knew the cost of a college education made it almost impossible for people to choose a career in public service and repay their debt. PSLF was meant to encourage Americans to devote their lives to public service, and to ease the crushing burden of student debt for teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and other public workers who met program criteria and made 120 on-time loan payments.

But while public workers held up their end of the bargain, Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education failed to hold up theirs. For years, DeVos and Department of Education officials wrongfully denied PSLF applications, forgiving loans for fewer than 1% of the thousands of eligible borrowers who applied. That is why AFT members have decided to sue Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education for gross mismanagement and out-and-out sabotage of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Were you one of the millions of people who were denied loan forgiveness under the PSLF program? Sign the petition demanding Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education stop neglecting their duty to protect student borrowers.


Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees
9623 Brookline Avenue • Baton Rouge, LA 70809
(225) 923-1037 • (800) 634-5089
askLFT@lft-aft.org