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American Rescue Plan: Bargaining Implications

The American Rescue Plan (ARP), enacted on March 11, will deliver $122 billion in aid to states and school districts to help safely and sustainably reopen school buildings and bridge the learning gaps stemming from the pandemic.
Published: August 18, 2021

The total allocation for Arizona schools is $2.3 billion. Two-thirds of this money was to be received in March and the remaining one-third will be received when the state submits a plan that complies with the federal requirements. Many states are in the process of drafting plans, which mandates stakeholder input including educators, their unions, civil rights organizations, students, and families.

This resource is intended to help local associations understand how the funds will be distributed and navigate the appropriate and optimal ways to ensure that the voice of educators remains at the table as plans are made to utilize these resources.

Role of the Association Representative in Negotiation/Engagement Process

How does the union engage in conversations around the development of interventions designed to address learning gaps, including summer and enrichment programs throughout the year?

ARP ESSER funds is an opportunity to chart a new, innovative course that will attract and engage students and educators. More importantly, while there must be some academics, an effective and engaging program will address the whole child. To create such a program, the voice of educators is important. Consider the discussion topics on the following sections.

What about these interventions can be informally discussed or formally negotiated?

Long-term student progress requires successful implementation of these interventions, but the additional funding and new mandates create opportunities for discussions and negotiations. Below are sections of some specific areas of focus.

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Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

With more than 20,000 members, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) is the labor union for public school employees in Arizona. AEA members are teachers, community college professors, counselors, speech pathologists, bus drivers, secretaries, retired educators and student teachers and they belong to more than 150 local affiliates across Arizona.