The Times West Virginian

Local News

April 9, 2014

Education groups meet to ‘Reclaim the Promise’

FAIRMONT — The American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia (AFT-WV) and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association held an event Tuesday in support of their “Reclaiming the Promise” campaign for education.

“Basically what we’re here for, what this is all about, is quite simple,” Frank Caputo, staff representative with AFT-WV, said. “We’re reclaiming the promise for public education, and we want every child in America to have an equal chance.

“I don’t believe there is anyone in this room that does not want to see every child in America have an equal chance in public education.”

The AFT and WVSSP are affiliated, and have 16,000 members, Caputo said.

The event included a meet-and-greet with regional politicians and candidates.

Jackee Long, president of the WVSSPA, said that the effort was about getting “back to the basics.”

“We’re trying to get back to the basics of education, and reclaiming the promise of getting back to where we were years ago, where employees and students mattered,” Long said. “The quality of education needs to be the same all over America. So we are trying to make sure that our employees are treated fairly, and that we mean something, and more importantly, that students get a great education.

“We are supporting initiatives that will get back to the basics of education, allowing teachers to teach, and allowing service personnel to do what they were hired to do — work with kids.”

Stacey Strawderman, vice president of AFT-WV, said that it was all about working together.

“It has to be a priority for everybody,” Strawderman said. “All the politicians, all the teachers and service personnel, administrators ... everyone.”

Representatives from Fairmont State University, and from Braxton, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Taylor counties were among those in attendance.

Email Colleen S. Good at or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.

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