NYSUT has launched a statewide advertising campaign reminding New Yorkers that good schools build strong communities and warning them against election-year gimmicks and uninformed naysayers.
The $250,000 radio and print campaign will run until Election Day. It is funded, in part, through a communications grant from the National Education Association, one of NYSUT's national affiliates.
"With all the campaign rhetoric, unbalanced news coverage and the one-sided perspective being perpetuated by Hollywood, the public is being bombarded with an anti-public education, anti-teacher message," said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. "It's the wrong message, it's an inaccurate message and our ads are aimed at setting the record straight."
The radio ad, being heard in every region in New York state, tells listeners that "good schools are the cornerstone of a strong community and a vibrant local economy."
It continues: "In times like these, we need to build up our communities, not tear them down. We do that by investing in public education, rejecting election-year gimmicks that hurt students and challenging naysayers who lack the facts."
The ad also thanks New Yorkers for their "overwhelming support" of public education. A recent poll by the widely respected Pew Center on the States found that a majority of voters who responded considered education spending a high priority. That finding reflects the annual vote on school budgets, held each May, which regularly results in a passage rate of 90 percent or more.
The same message is prominent in the newspaper ads.
"We're not sitting back and letting others define us," Iannuzzi said. "The myths and misstatements cannot go unchallenged. We're proud of our profession and we're letting people know that through these ads."