TEA is always happy to see educators, especially association members, who want to get more involved in the fight for great public schools. The priorities and organizing plan outlined by a new Facebook group of education activists align perfectly with TEA’s 20/20 Vision and the work that has already been underway for years.
TEA members have demonstrated the strength and effectiveness of our association when we stand united for the best interest of our students, our schools and this profession that we love. Through member advocacy efforts, TEA has been able to prevent the problems other states are experiencing. Without the association, Tennessee would have had private school vouchers, radical charter expansion and other dangerous policies in place years ago.
Every year, hundreds of TEA members flood the halls of the legislature to ensure their elected officials understand how the legislation they are considering will impact the classrooms back home in their districts. Having these face-to-face meetings with legislators has led to historic increases in public education funding, protected teacher licensing decisions from unreliable TVAAS scores, blocked private school vouchers and other privatization schemes, and protected the integrity of the state pension plan.
Despite the long list of important wins in recent years, there is always more work to be done. We are entering the thick of the legislative session when many important fights are heating up. It will take a strong united effort to defeat vouchers once again, to further rollback the harm done by the high-stakes testing system and to work to ensure salary increases are actually showing up in teachers’ paychecks.
I welcome all educators and public schools advocates to join us in Nashville for TEA Civication. Instead of a one or two day event, we host a six-week action that brings hundreds of #RedforEd member lobbyists to Nashville on the Tuesday of their Spring Break to put educators face-to-face with the people making the decisions. Register online now at TEAteachers.org/Civication.
We have accomplished so much in recent years, but to reach our 20/20 Vision to increase state investment per student to the Southeast average and to end the high-stakes decisions tied to TNReady, we must continue to be a united front for our students and public education. Visit
TEAteachers.org/2020Vision to join the campaign. We need the voices of all who believe in the importance of public education to join us in this fight.