Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post reports, “Since 2009, the ATF Educational Foundation has received more than $5 million in grant dollars from the Gates Foundation. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that the union would no longer be accept money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its Innovation fund. . . To keep the Innovation fund at its current levels dues would need to be raised by $0.05 per teacher.”
AFT Innovation Fund Mission
Created in 2009, the AFT Innovation Fund is a unique, nonprofit venture fund established to support and share successful union-led, collaborative reform efforts in public school systems across the United States. The Fund initially will work to identify, nurture and scale educator and union-led innovations in public education.
In 2009 AFT sent members of its executive team out to local district unions to explain why they were accepting money from the Gates foundation saying that the foundation was simply supporting their initiatives, not directing them.
Union leaders didn’t seem to recognize that in order for Bill Gates to offer his money to support any initiative meant that initiative was in line with his vision of public education.
Now the AFT is asking teachers to support the Innovation Fund by raising the union dues.
The AFT is not working to change the system of education for teachers, but to merely reform the process of the current dehumanizing and demoralizing system that forces teachers to suppress their natural gifts and talents and leave their passion at home in order to continue to be told what and how to teach.
AFT has never fought for the right of teachers to determine what grade level is best for them to teach. They have never fought for the right of teachers to bring their passion for learning into the classroom in order to inspire and engage their students in the learning process.
Now they are asking teachers to give more money to support a system of education that has never supported them.
Our children deserve dedicated, innovative, impassioned teachers who understand that they, the children, are the reason why we teach.
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