AMTE 2024 Annual Conference: Leadership Message

As we look forward to next year’s conference, several members have inquired about our decision to hold the event in Florida. We recognize that teachers and educators in Florida, like in many other states, have been facing legislation that is detrimental to their identity and work, and is contrary to best practices in education. In this note we provide some context about the contract we signed several years back and are locked into with the hotel, and some actions we might consider to make a statement in support of teachers and education.

After mainly alternating conference venues between Orlando FL and Irvine CA for many years AMTE sought to select a greater variety of conference venues. With the creation of the Conference Committee in 2019, AMTE contracted for conferences in Phoenix AZ (2020), Orlando (2021), Henderson NV (2022), and New Orleans LA (2023). When it became clear that it would be impossible to hold an in-person conference in 2021 due to the pandemic, we were forced to switch to a virtual format. Like the contracts that many of our sister organizations also had at the time, our hotel contract included a cancellation penalty that was enforced by the hotel. In order to avoid a significant fine, the 2021 contract for Orlando was renegotiated for 2024 with a relatively small penalty incurred for delaying our event.

We share the concerns of many of our members about holding the conference in Florida, but at the same time we need to look after the future of the organization. The penalty for canceling in 2021 would have exceeded the amount AMTE had in reserves, and it would have been financially devastating for the organization to incur such loss. We also recognize that we have many members and K-12 colleagues in Florida, and it is beneficial to them to have a national conference in their state. While we plan to have the 2024 conference in Florida and the planning is still in its very early stages, we are considering a number of actions similar to those taken at the recent New Orleans conference to support our Florida colleagues and try to send a message against detrimental policies. Among the actions that might be taken are:

- Include sessions advocating for teachers and the profession

- Continue with Advocacy sessions where local organizations are invited to share about their work.

- Offer conference attendees the choice of donating to a local educational cause instead of getting conference swag

- Provide a list of local minority-owned businesses

- Work on providing ways to support mathematics teacher educators who work in K-12 settings over the next year in a variety of ways

- Strive to select future conference sites that are not in states with oppressive legislation

We welcome additional ideas on ways in which AMTE can continue to advocate for teachers, teacher educators, and our profession. Please feel free to reach out to Board members with your ideas and suggestions.

Enrique Galindo, AMTE President

Megan Burton, AMTE Past-President

Shari Stockero, AMTE Executive Director