The delegates to NEA’s Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly are more energized than ever as they prepare to set education policy just days after the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision that sided with corporate interests over working people, threatening the future of workers’ rights.
More than 6,000 educators from every state will come together to address how the membership will stand together to build an even stronger union in the wake of Janus and tackle the major issues facing public school students and educators during the NEA’s 156th Annual Meeting and 97th Representative Assembly (RA) June 30 to July 5 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis.
In addition to the Janus decision, this year’s RA follows a year of tremendous teacher activism, as educators from West Virginia to Arizona stood with parents, students, and community groups to demand more resources for students and better working conditions to attract and retain caring, committed, qualified educators. After several years in which funding for public schools has stagnated or even fallen, teachers are demanding the support and learning environments that students in every neighborhood deserve.
Propelled by the energy from the “education spring,” delegates will keep up the momentum and solidarity as they forge a path for strong public schools.
The RA is the top decision-making body for the more than 3-million member National Education Association, where delegates adopt the strategic plan and budget, resolutions, the legislative program and other policies of the organization. NEA’s RA is also the world’s largest democratic deliberative body.
Highlights of the 2018 NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly
Racial and Social Justice
NEA’s Center for Social Justice will host its 2018 Conference on Racial and Social Justice at the Minneapolis Convention Center on June 28-29. Titled Presence to Power, the two-day conference will focus on racial and social justice advocacy and activism.
The goal of the 2018 Conference on Racial and Social Justice is to provide a unique space for educators, students, parents and families, organizers, community members and leaders to unite for the advancement of justice in education. Through interactive workshops, sessions, and skill building, attendees will access information and resources, plan and strategize, and engage on issues that affect educational opportunities for communities of color, LGBTQ people and women.
NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards
Former First Lady Michelle Obama and National Football League quarterback and racial and social justice advocate Colin Kaepernick are among the dozen recipients of the 2018 National Education Association Human and Civil Rights Awards. Since 1967, NEA has recognized and honored educators, individuals, and community partners who are advancing the mantle of human and civil rights for students, public education and communities across America.
Later that day the Education Support Professional of the Year Sherry Shaw will give remarks to the educators. Shaw is a special education paraeducator at Tanaina Elementary School in Wasilla, Alaska. The nation’s public schools employ more than 2 million school support staff, comprising one-third of all public school employees.
Teacher of the Year
Mandy Manning, the 2017 National Teacher of the Year and a an English and math teacher who teaches refugee and immigrant students in Spokane, Wash., will address delegates—her fellow educators—as part of an annual tradition. An 18-year teaching veteran and NEA member, Manning has taught for seven years at the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School, where she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students who are adjusting to life in their new community.
Friend of Education
The “Friend of Education Award”—the organization’s highest honor—will be presented to Ted Dintersmith. Ted is a highly successful venture capitalist and father of two. He has devoted most of his time, energy, and millions of his personal fortune to education-related initiatives that call for a remaking of what and how students learn. He has emerged as one of the leading advocates of student-centered, teacher-led classrooms in the nation. He has traveled to all 50 states to learn all he can about best practices as well as the art and science of teaching and learning. Ted is adamant that for innovative teaching—no matter the form—to succeed, teachers and their unions must play a pivotal role in designing and implementing school plans. His book, “Most Likely to Succeed” and the forthcoming “What School Can Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America,” highlight the outstanding work that is already occurring in America’s schools. Ted also financed and produced the compelling documentary “Most Likely to Succeed,” which argues that students and teachers should be given the latitude and trust to define their own approach to learning.
For updates from the meeting, visit NEA RA Media