They will be there!

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Members from the Yorktown Congress of Teachers recently received the gift of a chocolate bar from their local union. Here’s a photo of the front of a special wrapper for the candy bar. On the back is the following message: The YCT will join with our brothers and sisters from all over New York state [...]

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Fight Back Friday: State and federal budgets

There is still haggling to do over the state budget. This Albany Times Union editorial points out a number of problems. Lots of voices are urging lawmakers to take care of their issues. Keep up your good work. Go to NYSUT’s Member Action Center. Tell your lawmaker to fund K-12 schools, colleges and universities, save [...]

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How do you cut “skeleton” schools?

With a bone cutter or saw. The process is not pretty, my medical friends tell me. Skeleton schools were the image Elmira schools Superintendent Joe Hochreiter used last year to describe the cuts in that small city district. Well, Elmira is facing more cuts this year, according to this article from the Elmira Star-Gazette. As [...]

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Special ed pre-K schools in dire straits

It’s encouraging that lawmakers are getting the message and restoring many of the cuts proposed in the executive budget proposal in their one-house budgets. That is, except for preschool special education, also known as 4401 programs. Lack of funding has caused the closure of most of the 4410 programs that were run by BOCES across [...]

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Unionists fight for people with disabilities (updated)

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Updated with photos at 4:48 p.m. When Diane Cornell and Danielle Chase first made plans to travel to Albany all the way from Jamestown, their mission was to plead with lawmakers to restore funds cut in the proposed budget of the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities. The executive budget proposal cut $120 million from [...]

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Fight For Fairness Friday!

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled Fight Back Friday to remind us all why we fight. Here’s the voice of Liz Mahoney, a Moriah Central Teachers Association member, fighting for more state aid so five-year-olds can have kindergarten and the high-poverty school district can provide opportunities for all ages. I’m sorry the video is so bad, [...]

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Stay Safe Friday

Don’t get caught in the blizzard. The Weather Channel is saying 5 to 7 foot drifts are likely. NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta went to New York City early this morning to testify with the UUP President Phil Smith and Dr. Karen Benker of the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health about how critical [...]

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Fight Back Friday: Busy people save time with MAC app

People are busier than ever. Loa Noyd, a music teacher and member of the Hancock Teachers Association, and I have spent weeks trying to find 30 uninterrupted minutes for an interview about her students performing at Carnegie Hall.  Thank goodness for a school holiday, so now the plan is to talk Monday morning. Dozens of [...]

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Plea to Save Our Schools

More than 700 traveled from across all corners of the state to rally for more state aid to education  Wednesday. Speakers at the Educate NY Now rally ranged from a young third-grader to a great grandparent, Ina Downing, who is so mad about cuts to schools she tore off her wig. You can find that [...]

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Utica teachers committed to youngest learners

Laurence P. Custodero, president of the Utica Teachers Association, wrote this commentary published May 10 in the Utica Observer-Dispatch School districts across New York state are focusing on closing the achievement gap between different socioeconomic and ethnic groups, and the Utica City School District is no different. As we cope with an ever increasing wealth [...]

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