A+ Schools want a plan in event of school strike

 

February 6, 2018



After a year and a half of negotiating, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) and Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) are at an impasse in their talks about new contracts for teachers, paraprofessionals, and technical-clerical workers.

Last week, the PFT sent out ballots to their members that asked for their authorization to strike. While A+ Schools recognizes educators are currently weighing the difficult decision to strike, and the school board continues to weigh its options regarding the negotiations, A+ Schools is focused on the best thing for students: a safe, enriching place to go during the day in the event schools are closed.

A+ Schools has created two web forms to collect information about who will need help in the event of the strike, and what volunteers and organizations would be able to provide help if schools are closed. Access these sites at:

Parents/caregivers that need childcare should go to http://bit.ly/NeedChildcare.

Volunteers with clearances and organizations that can help provide care are asked to go to http://bit.ly/GiveChildcare.

“With the authorization of a strike imminent, we know kids and families will need a safe caring place when school is closed where children may continue to learn. Their parents and caregivers need to be at work,” said Tracey Reed Armant, chair of A+ Schools Board. “We will work with organizations across Pittsburgh to create a plan to take care of children while the adults work out their issues. There is precedent for such a plan; in 2012, organizations came together in Chicago, working through Chicago Cares, to provide care for students during their protracted strike. We can and will take care of Pittsburgh’s kids.”


“We hope the teachers and administrators are able to work out their differences so children don’t lose time in school. With 73 percent of third through eighth graders not doing math at grade level, we know our students need to be in class to be able to succeed,” said James Fogarty, A+ Schools executive director.

Learn more about the fact finder’s report and the district’s position about the current collective bargaining agreement negotiations at: http://www.aplusschools.org/stay-informed/teachers-contract-negotiations-update/.

 

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