COPE

COPE  meets on 3rd Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. For more information about the committee, please email cope@baltu.org. COPE is one of the most important committees the BTU has, we encourage all members to use COPE as a way to get involved and to take action. This year, COPE has been tasked with:
  • Watching Mayor Brandon Scott and Comptroller Bill Henry and holding them accountable since the BTU endorsed them; communicating the agenda that the BTU expects them to carry out
  • Voter education to increase member (and public) participation in the electoral process
  • Assisting members in becoming election judges
  • Hosting events with legislators
What is COPE?  COPE stands for the Committee on Political Education. WHY COPE? From the womb to the tomb, we are impacted by politics. Public education relies on public money to exist. Public money, usually in the form of taxes, is controlled by elected and appointed politicians. To influence decisions and the spending of public money for public education, we participate in politics through our unions. Legislative battles are about to take place that will significantly determine key aspects of our work environment. Many of the improvements in our environment are not negotiated at the bargaining table, but instead, require legislation. We must convince legislators to support legislation that would give us a voice on the school board and improve laws that we have in place. We must be able to lobby effectively if we are to succeed in getting the laws we need enacted. It’s impossible to succeed in lobbying without political action. The brilliance of rightness of our arguments rarely persuades politicians. They want to know what we can do for them (or perhaps for their opponents). Those are the hard facts of political life. COPE funds give us political clout. HOW ARE COPE FUNDS COLLECTED? COPE funds are collected through voluntary payroll deduction. The Union can only contribute to fundraisers for specific candidates, and voluntary contributions are the only way to establish an adequate COPE fund. State law and our contract establish our right to a check-off for COPE. WHO CAN SPEND COPE FUNDS? The COPE committee makes recommendations. COPE funds are used primarily to assist our legislative friends on the local and state levels with fundraising activities, to raise awareness in the community about issues that are impacting our profession and our students and to lobby the legislators in support of or against legislation. HOW DO MEMBERS CONTRIBUE TO COPE? Members must fill out a COPE deduction card to authorize the amount to be deducted from paychecks per pay period. The minimum deduction is $1.00 per pay period. To sign-up for COPE, visit or call the Baltimore Teachers Union office at 410-358-6600.