WASHINGTON DC, July 5 — Teachers and students from the East Coast attended the largest teachers union convention in the U.S., the National Education Association (NEA). We had two demonstrations inside the convention hall and with help from delegates inside the different committee/caucus meetings presented resolutions calling on teachers to stand with their students against the re-segregation of the public schools and the racist budget cuts that primarily hurt students.
We received a warm reception from many with comments like, “Keep up your good job! Excellent work! I’m so glad you guys are here!”
Over 1,700 CHALLENGEs were distributed along with thousands of daily leaflets examining issues from the role of the Democrats in ushering in fascism to analyzing the phony “school reforms.”
One of our demonstrations took place after one of our resolutions supporting the student strike in Canada against tuition increases was raised to the union delegate assembly.
In the English Language Learners (ELL) Caucus we led a struggle to get the union to take a stand against the racist cutbacks for ELL/bilingual programs. The state of Nevada has cut all funding for ELL students and done away with bilingual education. The caucus called on the NEA to reaffirm its commitment to funding for ELL students.
During discussions in the caucus we began the struggle with other teachers to view this fight as part of a racist attack on all students. Although we were unable to win the battle to include this language, we were able to make contacts and get to know some of the members better.
One thing was clear: many teachers and education workers are hungry for an answer to the crumbling school system and are open to our communist ideas.