May 21 matters: Two weeks to go

Fourteen days from now, voters across the state will decide on school budgets that, in all likelihood, increase class sizes, cut programs and close schools so districts can stay within the tax cap. Here’s the link to NYSUT’s report on this. Here’s a link to a Gannett news article that talks about how municipalities also [...]

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Bake sales for Boticelli?

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“We’re doing fundraisers to keep arts,” said Rachel Busher, one of many teachers hoisting signs outside the Capitol on Tuesday. She came to tell ¬†lawmakers how number crunching in Albany is stealing opportunities from students in New Paltz. Drama club, art club, chorus and band are “all clubs that were cut since the 2 percent [...]

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NYS AFL-CIO’s Mario Cilento: Tax cap is ‘undemocratic and arbitrary’

NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento weighs in on NYSUT’s legal challenge to the state’s property tax cap. The property tax cap has done nothing but tie the hands of school districts at the exact wrong time. NYSUT’s decision to challenge the imposition of our state’s undemocratic and arbitrary cap should be welcome news to students, [...]

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Fight Back Friday: East Aurora

Lots of districts made painful choices this spring to fit into that ill-advised tax cap. East Aurora in western New York was like almost all districts across the state that cut programs and increased class size. Starting this fall, students in the East Aurora schools will have larger class sizes, fewer academic choices, and less [...]

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Fight Back Friday: Funding for schools

It’s the not so lazy, but definitely hazy and crazy days of summer across the state. Congratulations to the Broadalbin-Perth Booster Club, which has raised enough funds to save fall sports for students in that Fulton County community. Of course, the club still has $22,000 to raise to save winter and spring sports. (UPDATE thanks [...]

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School programs on the line today

Full-day kindergarten, high school electives, sports and extracurricular activities are on the line in 24 districts across the state today as they try once more to get budgets passed. In Hornell, only sports are on the line. That district got voters to pass their school budget, but they rejected paying for athletics with the 60 [...]

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June 19 matters

It’s one week until a number of school districts across the state try once more to get school budgets approved. If you live in one of those 24 districts, please take the time to support the district’s efforts. Today’s also my last day of official grand jury duty. I am relieved to go back to [...]

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June 19 matters

For the 24 school districts across the state whose budgets did not pass, the next three weeks are crucial. June 19 is the last chance to ask voters to approve an increase. Or they can adopt a 0 percent tax levy increase which does not need voter approval at any point. In most cases, that [...]

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Fight Back Friday: privacy, ratios, caps & more

Hundreds of NYSUT members will lobby their lawmakers Tuesday. At 11:30 a.m., many of them will join a nurses effort to call for safe staffing and a safe patient handling task force. You can help support their efforts by joining them for a rally at the Capitol in Albany. But the advocacy will go beyond [...]

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Budget cuts hurt in Utica

The Utica small city schools have been up against a lot of budgetary concerns for years now. Two of the strikes against them are a declining tax base, and increasing needs to deal with an increasing immigrant population. Here’s an excerpt from that Feb. 2 Utica Observer-Dispatch article: Utica does qualify for two programs that [...]

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