Resolution on community engagement

published 25 July 2015 updated 31 March 2017

The 7th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from 21nd to 26th July 2015:

1. Recognizing, that as educators and education support personnel, our interest is in publicly-funded education that are rooted in our communities and provide all children a rich academic and career-developing experience; and

2. Knowing, that society benefits when there are schools where stakeholders inside and outside the classroom share in decision making and policymaking at all levels; and that when schools are part of the community, students feel safe, included, nurtured and empowered; and

3. Acknowledging, that our communities will no longer support a world where some students are given the most experienced and well-trained teachers, advanced technologies and new facilities, while other students are taught in overcrowded classrooms by teachers lacking the basic supports and technology they need to do their jobs; and

4. Seeing, that our communities have watched corporate interests, over the past years, attempt to dismantle publicly-funded education and create a new market-based system, using strategies designed to separate schools and communities, including promoting high-stakes testing, attacks on the collective bargaining rights of educators and school employees, and aggressive closures to pave the way for privately managed schools; and

5. Believing, that strong publicly-funded education create successful communities, as our schools can be both local institutions and centres of learning; and that these “community schools” can help coordinate the supports and wraparound services their students and families need, such as basic healthcare, counselling, mentoring programs and more to help strengthen whole communities as well as individual students; and

6. Asserting, that teachers must be well-trained, respected and supported by their community, and that the community has a strong role to play in fighting against those who would demonize educators and their unions in our legislatures and in the media:

The Seventh World Congress:

7. Calls on affiliates to reclaim our publicly-funded education, on behalf of the students who learn there, the educators and staff who work there, and the communities they anchor; and

8. Affirms that our schools should be governed with genuine input and decision making by those closest to the education process—teachers, support staff, administrators, students, their parents and the community; it is they who should guide our schools, not corporate executives or entrepreneurs; and

9. Asserts the power of teachers and school staff, working together with parents and community partners, to strengthen the quality of education, engage in solution-driven unionism, defend and advocate for the profession, ignite stakeholder political activism and create better communities; and

10. Commits Education International to incorporate community outreach and community schools in the activities of the EI Organizing Network (OrgNet).