2015 Convention

Whereas, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United has given unprecedented power to corporations and special interests to finance political campaigns; and

Whereas, the decision has resulted in massive amounts of campaign contributions being contributed to Political Action Committees (PACs) whose funds are directed, often in complete secrecy, to political candidates willing to do the bidding of corporations and special interests; and

Whereas, the nation is faced with a multipronged attack on the rights of workers, in both the private and public sectors, and the negotiated contracts that have been earned through the collective bargaining process at the negotiating table; and

Whereas, many states and interest groups have embraced an exclusionary trend toward immigrants’ rights, voter rights and the placement of restrictions on such rights as granted by the 15th Amendment to the Constitution; and

Whereas, members of the American Federation of School Administrators are engaged participants in the political process that defines and strengthens our democracy; and

Whereas, as along—time affiliate of the AFL-CIO, AFSA shares the federation’s concern for the well being of all workers and recognizes the necessity of engaged political activism in the electoral process to ensure the rights and benefits of all union members; and

Whereas, federal policies for performance standards, educator evaluations and strategies for turning around underperforming schools have been developed without input from the school leaders responsible for overseeing these policies; and

Whereas, various state legislatures have passed laws authorizing school districts to allow educators or school volunteers to be armed at schools; and

Whereas, educators and school volunteers are not law enforcement—trained personnel; and

Whereas, educators and school volunteers should not be used to enforce security and police activities;

Therefore be it resolved, that AFSA opposes the arming of school personnel or school volunteers (other than sworn peace officers) at school sites.

Whereas, high-quality public education for all is an anchor of democracy, an economic necessity, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right; and

Whereas, the school leaders who run our public schools are deeply committed to helping students build lives of great purpose and potential by instilling essential knowledge and the critical thinking necessary for becoming responsible citizens and active participants in civic life; and

Whereas, there has been a great need to support grieving students across the United States; and

Whereas, AFSA believes strongly that students’ personally identifiable data should be protected from data breaches by appropriate network security measures and from inappropriate uses by school service providers, including selling that data to third parties, using it to target advertisements directly to students and building profiles on students for commercial purposes; and

Whereas, AFSA believes that, on a small scale, public charter schools have the potential to provide innovative educational strategies that can be replicated across traditional public schools, but recognizes that recent research has found that charter schools' effectiveness has proven to be mixed at best; and

Whereas, AFSA recognizes the value of assessments in determining whether individual students and statistical subgroups, among them English Language Learners, are learning on grade level, to inform learning and to target resources to those students and subgroups that need additional assistance to grasp key concepts; and