Fort Plain, NY needs your help

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Give to the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund Apply for NYSUT Disaster Relief Here are a few photos of what the Otsquago Creek looked like just a few weeks ago. “It’s been a tough 10 days here, but the generosity and the help we are getting is what keeps us going,” said Pat Hanifin, president of […]

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AFT will put $$ into your solutions

The American Federation of Teachers has been touting solution-driven unionism for a year. AFT President Randi Weingarten has said focusing “on solving problems, not on winning arguments,” is the way unions must respond to years of cuts to public education and attacks on collective bargaining rights.” Now the AFT is willing to put $25,000 behind […]

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Celebrating 52 successful years in the classroom

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Years ago, I got to interview Richard Herrmann for his thoughts on how to avoid burnout. He was the perfect interview as he had far more than 40 years teaching and was still going strong. Finally this year, after thousands of students and 52 years, he’s retiring as head of the Valley Stream Teachers Association. […]

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Feel Good Friday: end of legislative session

School might be over but lawmakers are still in session. At least for a few more hours. Need proof that your advocacy makes a difference? There will now be a Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment increase on the direct costs associated with 853 and Special Act schools for the 2013-14 school year. These schools had not had an increase […]

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The joy of victory (29) and agony of defeat (2)

There is good news for students in 29 school districts, where voters approved budgets in revotes last night. Voters in three of those districts, Newcomb in the north country, and Manhasset and North Babylon on Long Island, even agreed to override the property tax cap. For the remaining districts, only a 50 percent “yes” vote […]

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June 18 matters: Vote today

If you live in one of the 31 school districts facing a revote of budgets today, please make the effort to vote. The Journal News, which covers five districts holding revotes, reports those districts “better hope that voters understand what a second defeat would mean. Slash and burn.” It’s an apt description because schools have […]

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Fight Back Friday: Where do we go from here?

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Emerson’s definition of success is taped on my wall. You know, the one that starts with To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; and then ends with to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Thanks […]

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“Where words fail, music speaks”

Those words on the power of music are attributed to Hans Christian Andersen. So, when music is cut from schools, hundreds will turn out, like they did in Buffalo yesterday. Here’s an excerpt: City Honors School student Ana Blatto presented a box of more than 700 letters from students protesting music cuts. She said she […]

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SUNY Downstate needs your help now!

It’s been months of work to help the Brooklyn community services by keeping SUNY Downstate Medical Center open. Here’s a link to one local report that says “any action taken toward downsizing or closure would have a damaging impact upon the available health care to many in the surrounding community.” Time is running out. The […]

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June 18 matters: One week to go for budget revotes

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Jordan Elysee will be a senior next year in the East Ramapo schools. He has little to look forward to. “They’ve cut sports. They’ve cut clubs. They’ve cut something every year, it seems,” he said, standing with other students and their parents behind a large banner that said “Save Our Schools.” Jordan is the tallest […]

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