Extra effort keeps teacher center ‘unofficially open’

The in-service and retired members NYSUT members who have staffed the Tioga County Teacher Center this year like to say that they’ve kept it “unofficially open.”

Teacher centers throughout New York lost their funding in the current state budget, but several have continued to operate with the help of volunteer staffs and the cooperation of local districts. Among them is the Tioga County Teacher Center in Nichols, a Southern Tier community between Binghamton and Elmira.

Art Cacciola, a Candor Faculty Association retiree, is among the volunteers staffing the teacher center in space donated by the school system. He talked about the effort to keep the center running with a shoestring staff and a part-time schedule during a Feb. 15 meeting with Assembly Member Barbara Lifton, an Ithaca Democrat, as part of a daylong advocacy effort and an “extraordinary” meeting of NYSUT’s Committee of 100 volunteer activists.

“We’re still providing services for the teachers,” Cacciola said. “We have the equipment and materials there and can help teachers use those.”

Cacciola and other NYSUT members reminded lawmakers throughout the day that teacher centers provide valuable support and training, and asked that funding for them be restored. Lifton said she recognized the need, and would remind fellow Assembly members to support teacher centers.

  • Take Action: Urge your representatives in Albany to restore funding to teacher centers
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