AEA in Action

The Arkansas Education Association is hard at work advocating for teachers and education support professionals around health and safety for the 20-21 school year at the state and local levels.

AEA President Carol Fleming and Executive Director Tracey-Ann Nelson are in communication with state officials, and have been publicly calling on the state to ensure reopening plans do not put our children, educators and their families at risk.

AEA jumped into action when the Department of Education put forward a set of blanket waivers as part of the “Ready for Learning” plan. AEA engaged local leaders and lifted their concerns about silencing educator voice and other problematic changes that were ultimately approved by the State Board of Education. Our members then reached out to state lawmakers, asking them to raise the issues during a meeting of the joint education committee.

Our recent survey, drew more than 6,000 responses and confirmed educators fear for their students, families and personal safety due to the coronavirus. The AEA formed a Return to Learn Committee to develop a list of expectations that must be met before we can consider safely returning to classrooms.


“What we see is going to be different tomorrow. It is ever evolving, this is a situation that we’ve never been in before, but the one thing that is constant is that we have to have the voice of the educators involved in the decision-making process as well as the voice of the health experts…” MORE– AEA President Carol Fleming

“The state’s guidance on outbreaks in our schools is acknowledgment that we are attempting to send students and educators into an unsafe situation. This danger is compounded by the state’s lack of coordinated guidance to districts as they attempt to plan amid constantly changing guidelines that have somehow become politicized.” MORE– AEA Executive Director Tracey-Ann Nelson

“Educators and students want and need to be together when it is safe… Social distancing is critical, PPE is going to be critical…how are we going to make sure that everyone’s comfortable with that and has the space to be able to do that?” MORE – AEA Board Member Michelle Wolchok