The 8th Tri-national Conference in Defense of Public Education was held in Los Angeles on April 18-20, 2008. The UTLA (United Teachers' of Los Angeles), which represents education workers in the K-12 system and is an affiliate of both the NEA and the AFT, hosted the conference.
Since NAFTA created new links among Mexico, the U.S. and Canada in 1994, education union activists from the three countries have met at a conference every two to three years. The purpose has been to deepen understanding of the impact of the neo-liberal policies exemplified by NAFTA on public education and to find ways to work together in mutual support of public education in the three countries.
The 8th conference provided another opportunity to join in this process. While the context in each of the three countries is obviously different, we always find that there are also many similarities. The links formed through these conferences have been important in providing mutual solidarity in times of crisis, as well as in expanding knowledge of the realities of education in our neighboring countries.
The conference has generally had speakers from each of the three countries present on common themes, to get a transnational perspective on the issues. Discussion then focuses on looking for the patterns and exploring ideas about common or supportive actions that might be taken in relationship to the issues.
Funding for the conferences came from two sources. Registration fees have covered costs of translation, since the conferences are conducted in English and Spanish through simultaneous translation. Grants from unions in Canada and the U.S. have provided funding to ensure that a significant number of teachers from Mexico can participate in the conference.
Please take a look at our Conference Information::
Draft Conference Agendas:
Here are invitation letters to:
Here are our registration forms:
For Mexican participants, here are two important documents with information regarding acquiring a visa to enter the USA:
Conference hotel (with unionized workers):
For background on the Trinational Coalition for the Defense of Public Education, please check out all of our links at the top of the page, and don 't forget to read: