Back to School 2019: Let’s Make the Most of this Year!
August 27, 2019
August 27, 2019
Union Brothers and Sisters,
It’s my great honor to welcome you to the 2019-20 school year and to wish you and your students every success as it gets underway. Please, please—never for a moment doubt that you’re making an important difference and doing work that will matter for lifetimes.
I’m delighted to have you on board with the most influential and committed organization working for public education in our state today, the Virginia Education Association. Our power is not only in our influence and commitment, though, it’s also in our numbers. As summer is wrapping up, our members have been out in force at new employee orientation events around the commonwealth, talking with rookie educators and adding to our Union’s membership. Together, we are a growing and effective force for good for our children, our future, and the professionals who work in our schools. No organization can say that with the confidence that we can.
We saw that effectiveness in the 2019 General Assembly session. When it was over, our schools had significant budget boosts, salaries grew, teacher licenses got stronger protections, we added school counselors, schools got the freedom to open when they thought best for their communities, and important progress was made on school safety. All of that happened because we fought for it to happen.
Spread the word: Talk with your colleagues, both the new ones and the ones that have been around for a while, and let them know about the good things VEA and your local are doing. Help them understand that, as members, they not only have a powerful voice, but they play an important role as we move ahead. Changing public education for the better is not a spectator sport!
Our Union’s biggest current initiative is Fund Our Future, a campaign that grew out of the ongoing #Red4Ed movement that’s sweeping our country. Through FOF, we are working in a very focused way in the next two years to get the kind of school funding our students and educators deserve, increase pay significantly, and do all we can to help elect legislators who are true friends of our public schools.
Get on board: Throughout this fall and winter, our members will be speaking out in public forums, meeting with members of the press, working closely with other community groups, writing letters to the editor of local papers, vetting political candidates and then working on behalf of those who strongly support our schools—and much more.
The more of us who play a part, the more momentum we’ll build. The more momentum we build, the more we’ll accomplish for kids, schools, and educators. That’s good for everyone.