Sixteen NYSUT locals, representing teachers and School-Related Professionals throughout Wayne County, joined forces with business owners and school administrators in December to defeat an attempt by the Wayne County Board of Supervisors to break a decades-long agreement that earmarked $5.4 million in annual sales tax revenue for county school districts.
If the proposal had passed, county residents would have faced average school tax increases of 7.3 percent, and districts would have faced huge staffing and program cuts.
Calling themselves the Wayne County Education Federation, the locals sprung into action, holding a community rally outside the county courthouse, staging a press conference, testifying during a supervisors' meeting, mailing postcards and running advertisements urging community members to oppose the plan.
Wayne Teachers Association President Jason Carter, who headed the Wayne County EF, explained the importance of securing the tax revenues:
"If my school cut all of its sports programs and after-school activities, and the district's 270 teachers and its superintendent didn't receive raises, it still would not compensate for the $860,000 that would have been lost if supervisors discontinued revenue sharing."
— Kara Smith