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Sharing more pathways to student debt relief

As the landscape of student debt shifts, and more and more opportunities allow borrowers to have their debt relieved, the AFT is using every avenue to ensure that the word is out. In affiliate meetings, telephone town halls, media coverage and social media, the union is spreading the news, and at a student debt clinic at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31, AFT President Randi Weingarten vowed to reach as many people as possible with information that could save them tens—and sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars.

AFT Massachusetts Endorses Maura Healey for Governor of Massachusetts

“As the People’s Lawyer, Maura has always stood up strong for Massachusetts students and educators. As our next Governor, she’ll bring Massachusetts together to build an equitable recovery in our schools,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “As Governor, Maura will invest in the academic supports, wraparound services, and mental health resources our students need to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

AFT Massachusetts Endorses Maura Healey for Governor of Massachusetts

“As the People’s Lawyer, Maura has always stood up strong for Massachusetts students and educators. As our next Governor, she’ll bring Massachusetts together to build an equitable recovery in our schools,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “As Governor, Maura will invest in the academic supports, wraparound services, and mental health resources our students need to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

AFT Massachusetts Endorses Tami Gouveia for Lieutenant Governor, Shannon Liss-Riordan for Attorney General, & Diana DiZoglio for Auditor

“These three strong and independent leaders will deliver for Massachusetts students, educators, and families,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “Along with our endorsed candidate for Governor, Maura Healey, AFT Massachusetts is proud to be endorsing a slate of proven women leaders who will make state government a true partner to our local schools as we work to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
 

UMass Dartmouth AFT Locals Advocating For Greater Investment, More Affordability in Massachusetts’ Public Colleges

As a new report reveals that Massachusetts students are being priced out of public college by rising tuition and fees, members of the UMass Dartmouth Faculty Federation are advocating for greater state investment in Massachusetts’ public colleges in order to make them affordable to the middle class again.

“Earning a degree from a state college – which was once heralded as a pathway of opportunity – has become completely unfeasible for most middle-class families and students across Massachusetts,” says Dr. Grant O’Rielly, President of the UMass Dartmouth Faculty Federation.

Kontos to DESE: Suspend Broken School Accountability System

The state should hit the pause button on its deeply flawed school and district accountability system, AFT MA President Beth Kontos tells state education officials in a May 12 letter. “The current ‘test, rank, label, and punish’ approach to accountability is causing serious and demonstrable harm,” Kontos writes. “Until that harm can be stopped, all accountability measures and DESE interventions should be suspended – not just for 2021-22 but indefinitely.”

AFT Massachusetts Announces Recipients of 2022 Distinguished Service Awards

AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos and Secretary-Treasurer Brant Duncan are thrilled to announce the winners of the union’s 2022 Distinguished Service Awards.

The Distinguished Service Awards are presented annually to AFT Massachusetts members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of service and dedication to their local union. Here are this year’s winners:

PreK-12 Educator

Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.