AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

OPPOSITION TO THE 65 PERCENT SOLUTION INITIATIVE

WHEREAS, students in the United States are educated in more than 16,000 individual school districts of many types and sizes; and

WHEREAS, providing a high-quality education to those students requires the efforts of a team of people offering a wide range of services that support and sustain direct instruction in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, there is a nationwide scheme being promoted by a faux grass-roots organization called "First Class Education,' the so-called 65 percent solution that calls on states to further undermine struggling education systems by enacting legislation mandating that a minimum of 65 percent of spending must be devoted solely to direct instruction, as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an arm of the Department of Education, without regard to the full range of services that support and sustain that instruction; and

WHEREAS, the so-called 65 percent solution will have a direct, negative impact on funding for items not included in the direct instruction category, including school health and nursing, school libraries, nutrition services, transportation, building maintenance, counseling, security, and professional development for teachers; and

WHEREAS, the 65 percent solution is based on a misguided "one-size-fits-all" calculation that does not, as one writer stated: "include the cost of bringing students to the classroom, maintaining the classroom, keeping the classroom safe or training the classroom teacher"; and

WHEREAS, the so-called 65 percent solution is another untested proposal that does nothing to guarantee greater student achievement or that school districts will adjust their spending in a manner that creates greater efficiency—a stated goal of this initiative:

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to support and work with allies to continue to advocate for every effort that strengthens schools and improves education for all students, including supporting efforts to eliminate wasteful spending in schools; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to oppose arbitrary approaches, such as the so-called 65 percent solution that are focused on the imposition of rules rather than on understanding what our schools and children need and on providing them with necessary resources; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT educate affiliates and members about the inherent dangers of one-size-fits all approaches to education staffing and funding; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT provide information and resources to affiliates to support their efforts to educate their communities about the dangers of initiatives like the 65 percent solution approach to education funding and that support efforts to educate communities about workable, proven solutions that enhance student achievement. (Executive Council, 2006)


(2006)