K12NN has invited several teachers who are attending summer NEA and AFT meetings to blog about those events. GatorbonBC is a teacher from Florida who is attending the NEA Representative Assembly in Denver, CO. This post is re-posted with permission from the blog Continuing Change, where GatorbonBC blogs about public education.
At the foot of the Colorado Rockies, teachers and support personnel, active and retired, have come together to participate in the 2014 NEA Representative Assembly.
I am a first time delegate. This past week, my husband and I took the long drive, from Florida to Denver, for this chance of a lifetime.
It is definitely worth the drive to be here. Public education is under attack. Corporate reformers, among others, are set on making a buck off our children and they have set their sights set on our schools.
Being from Florida, I attended our state caucus. Our FEA President, Andy Ford, led the meeting using parliamentary procedure.
Motions were made and discussions about upcoming NEA elections motivated many delegates to approach the microphones.
Candidates for various NEA officer positions also spoke to our group. George Sheridan, Candidate for NEA Executive Committee Candidate, garnered much applause. He started his speech by comparing, “Arne Duncan is to the public schools of America what Rick Scott is to Florida”
NEA Vice President Candidate, Becky Pringle, also spoke. She brought the Florida Caucus to their feet with her powerful comments : “We will organize and agitate… This is our time!”
After I met with my state caucus, I trekked a few blocks over to the BAT Caucus. In case you have not heard of the BATs, they are the Badass Teachers Association.
This grassroots group consists of close to 50,000 teachers, nationwide, who choose to speak up against school privatization, high stakes testing, and other issues that plague our public schools.
I have been involved with ‘BAT’ since early on, so I was not surprised to walk into a room chock full of teachers working diligently together to draft bills (NBIs ) and resolutions.
Like FL, our BAT Chair, Becca Ritchie, led the BAT caucus using parliamentary procedure. The group also discussed floor strategy during tomorrow’s debate. All and all, the BAT caucus meeting was a huge success.
Over the next week, I will do my best to keep up with the Representative Assembly debate and report back the results.
Check back tomorrow for day two and be sure to follow on Twitter using hashtags #NEABAT and #NEA2014
What do you want to see at this year’s NEA Representative Assembly? Which issues concern you the most?
I look forward to your responses!