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Council, Reopening Schools

COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE & COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

Return to In-person Instruction in DC Public Schools

Testimony of Elizabeth A. Davis, President

Washington Teachers’ Union

AFT Local 6

 

 

Good afternoon. 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.

As I begin this afternoon, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to mention the opportunity gaps that continue to plague our schools. Many students in our city don’t have access to a librarian. Many students don’t have access to Algebra or Geometry. Many do not receive the same education in social studies or the Arts as their peers in other parts of the city. While the health pandemic has brought renewed attention to the Digital Divide, it has long been a daily obstacle for many of our students. Closing the opportunity gaps that plague our school systems and the resulting achievement gaps (see Appendix 1) must be our daily focus.

I am a teacher. I believe our students are only limited by the opportunities that we provide them. The past year has been difficult for us all. I am immensely proud of our teachers who have opened their homes to students and who have spent countless hours learning new technology and preparing to make their distance classes engaging for their students. Yet, we know that many teachers have struggled to adapt to distance learning. Many students have also struggled. We all yearn for a return to the classroom.

... Read President Davis' full statement here.

 

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Headlines - Mon Nov 30

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FY2022 DCPS Budget Statement

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).

The budgeting process is full of choices.

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Headlines - Mon, Nov 23

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Statement: Washington DC Teachers’ Will Not Sign MOA with DCPS

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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Headlines - Mon, Nov 15

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Headlines - November 9

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