In a new article titled, “Educators Are Standing Up for Healthy Green Schools and a Livable Climate This Earth Week,” two union educators describe how “students, educators, parents, school staff, and community members” around the U.S. are “taking action to demand healthy, green schools.”

The authors are Todd E. Vachon, Ph.D. Director of the Labor Education Action Research Network (LEARN) in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers and a long-time LNS activist and Ayesha T. Qazi-Lampert, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union Climate Justice Committee.

In the article they describe how educators in locals like the Chicago Teachers Union, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, the New Jersey Education Association in Atlantic County, and New York’s United Federation of Teachers passed resolutions “demanding action plans from their districts for green, healthy, fully-resourced community schools, prioritizing racial justice and disadvantaged communities.”

They recount how the Seattle Education Association is fighting to expand on their recent victory of a nearly $20 million bond levy to make green, healthy retrofits to Seattle public schools, creating good union jobs and pathways to those jobs for students. How Minneapolis educators are fighting against the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, which creates large amounts of toxic air pollution and carbon emissions by burning garbage within a low-income community of color. How Philadelphia teachers made plans to teach lessons on the climate crisis and climate justice to their students on Earth Day, And how members of the Oakland Education Association planned to participate in a community cleanup with the Alameda Labor Council.

They conclude:  “You can join the Educators Climate Action Network to learn more and get involved. Together we can save the world, one school at a time.”

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