Teachers unions play a critical role in setting district-wide school reform goals and implementing them at school sites.
Participating unions have gotten involved in community schools because they are convinced that services, supports and enrichment activities support teachers inside the classroom, make the curriculum more relevant and engaging, and create the conditions for learning that enable children to succeed.
Implementing a community school initiative requires ways of thinking and acting that are different from traditional schools. In addition to forging strong partnerships, important decisions about scheduling, personnel, and instruction need to be made. With the shared leadership structure of a community school, teacher unions get involved in community school initiatives in a myriad of ways.
Union participation in community school initiatives give teachers a voice in the initiative; builds teacher buy-in; ensures contracts and a culture that support community schools; strengthens classroom instruction, and demonstrates the positive role of unions in school reform.
Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers, visit students at a community school.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and Coalition for Community Schools Director Martin J. Blank