During the Spring Representative Assembly, delegates unanimously adopted the association’s next two-year budget. I am proud of that support but also of the document itself. The approved budget reflects our priorities and commitment to the association’s strategic plan to build strong and stable locals, to lead the professions by elevating diverse educator voices, and to sustain a culture of organizing that builds and uses power through collective action.
Our union must connect each member’s values and priorities and provide a path to collective power to act on those priorities. This dynamic is at the core of unionism: a union focused on organized people finding their voice and taking action together.
Add to the power of organized people, the power of data. As a union, we must better understand and harness the power of data. The budget created a new position dedicated to data management that will support current and new data systems, data integration, data use, and data training across the association. This will mean more precisely delivering the resources and opportunities that will be most meaningful and relevant to individual members.
The budget reinforces our commitment to racial, social, and economic justice and builds capacity with a dedicated equity organizer position and the expansion of programs and grants related to Black Lives Matter and human and civil rights. This justice space is multi-faceted. Progress is not made by one event, committee, or staff person, but through every person and activity pushing for fundamental changes that prioritize justice.
The budget also continues the work of the Center for Education Policy and Practice and the creation of a new learning management system that will help generate and support member-created professional development content. Having members develop content to support and improve the professional performance of colleagues is core to leading the professions.
Our association budget reflects our values and priorities. It supports the work we currently do and adds the necessary capacity to be the union of the future—one that meets the moment.
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