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DC Public Schools
Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Budget Engagement
November 23, 2020
Good evening. I am Elizabeth Davis, President of the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). The WTU represents 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students.
I am a teacher. I believe our students are only limited by the opportunities that we provide them. As we begin conversations about the upcoming budget, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to highlight the opportunity gaps that continue to plague our schools and many students. While the health pandemic has brought renewed attention to these gaps, we have long known that they have existed. It is time that we acknowledge the impact that these opportunity gaps – especially the digital divide – has on the achievement of our students. And, as we emerge from this crisis, it is critical that the FY2022 DCPS budget adequately reflects our reality and adequately invests in all our students (see Appendix 1).Read more
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For Immediate Release
Washington DC Teachers’ Will Not Sign Agreement to Reopen Schools to In-Person Learning
Cites rising COVID-19 Rates and Constantly Shifting DCPS Plans
WASHINGTON — The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President Elizabeth Davis released the following statement regarding today after declining to sign a tentative Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DC Public Schools.
“Over the past few weeks, we have worked diligently with our partners at DC Public Schools to create a framework that would allow our students to safely resume in-person learning in the coming weeks. However, given the lack of clear public health guidelines and the lack of engagement with administrators and teachers around reopening plans, the WTU has determined it is not in the best interest of our students, teachers, and all school-based employees to sign the MOA at this time.
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November 2, 2020
Washington DC Teachers’ Vote ‘No Confidence’ in DCPS’ Plan to Reopen Schools to In-person Learning
WASHINGTON — The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) voted at a Member Assembly last week to express “No Confidence” in the District’s plan to safely reopen schools.
“Last Thursday evening night, DC’s teachers spoke loudly and clearly. We do not have faith that the DCPS plans to reopen our schools are in the best interest of students,” WTU President Elizabeth Davis said. “Despite negotiations throughout the weekend, we’re disappointed that we were not able to come to an agreement. The Chancellor’s plan to reopen our schools to in-person learning will disrupt the education of a vast majority of DCPS students. As educators, we do not believe this plan is good for our students or good for our schools.”
The Union voted overwhelmingly, with more than 93% of members present supporting the motion, during a special membership assembly to express “No confidence in Mayor Muriel Bowser, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee, and the DC Public Schools plan to reopen our schools to in-person learning on November 9th, as it currently stands.”
Earlier last week, the Council of School Officers, the union representing DCPS principals and other mid-level administrators, sent an Open Letter to the Deputy Mayor and Chancellor outlining their concerns with the District’s reopen plans.
The Washington Teachers’ Union and DCPS will resume negotiations about a safe return to our schools later in the week. While many elements of an agreement have been reached, the Union believes that plans should be revised to ensure greater equity across the city to ensure that students furthest from opportunity have access to additional in-person learning opportunities and that no educator should be required to return to in-person learning if they don’t believe adequate protections for themselves, their students and the community are in place.
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The WTU represents more than 5,000 active and retired teachers. It is dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students in D.C. Public Schools.