Here are answers to some frequently asked questions we're receiving about the rally.
Q. Are parents and other members of the public, who are not members of the union, allowed to attend the rally?
A. Absolutely. NYSUT encourages anyone concerned about the future of public education to attend the rally.
Q. Are district superintendents and school boards invited?
A. NYSUT welcomes all school district superintendents and school board members to attend the June 8 rally to help in the fight for the future of public education. The union also urges its members to extend invites to their district's board members and administrators.
Q. If I'm a parent or interested member of the public and want to attend the rally, will my school district or local union provide transportation? Whom should I call?
A. Parents, students or other members in the community are encouraged to contact the nearest NYSUT regional office for transportation options.
Q. Do we have to pay our own way for transportation?
A. NYSUT is providing bus transportation for participants based on availability. To reserve a seat, contact the nearest NYSUT regional office. If you decide to drive yourself, however, there will not be reimbursement.
Q. Are there any rules in terms of placards, posters, etc.?
A. NYSUT will have signs available and a booth for participants to make their own signs on site.
Q. Have there been any restrictions as to items that can be brought onto the plaza?
A. As of now, the only restrictions are the obvious: No guns, knives, or weapons of any kind. There have been no other restrictions placed on items that can be brought onto the plaza. Please check this site for any updates on this matter.
Q. My organization is considering bringing a small tent for our members to use as a gathering spot. Is this permissible.
A. Yes, but please be advised that there will not be a place to stake the tent, so be sure to bring something heavy (sand bag etc) to secure each corner in case of high winds.
Q. Will food and drinks be provided at the rally?
A. Please plan on bringing a lunch. There will be various vendors onsite where participants can purchase food and drinks, however due to the anticipated crowd size and the short time frame available for vendor service we are strongly encouraging ALL participants to bring a bag lunch to be consumed on the bus or on the plaza during the rally.
Q: My local will be coming to Albany by bus. When will we hear about rally drop off and bus-parking locations?
A: We have worked in conjunction with the Albany Police Department to provide the most efficient transportation plan possible. Bus transportation information, including detailed parking locations and instructions, driving directions, rider information cards, permits (all buses must be registered) have been forwarded to all NYSUT Regional Offices. Material should be ready for distribution no later than Tuesday June 4. Please note that shuttle service for individuals who may require such will be available for buses that are parked in Lincoln Park and the Elk Street surface lot. All other parking locations are within two blocks of the Empire State Plaza.
Q. What if I'm not busing to Albany? Where do I park?
A. The following is a link to parking lots and garages in Albany, near the Capitol. Parking rates will apply: www.parkalbany.com.
The Empire State Plaza is adjacent to many busy residential neighborhoods and there are other community events taking place in downtown Albany on June 8. Please plan accordingly.
Q. I want to bring my family. Is there going to be something for kids to do?
A. Activities, such as face painting, are being planned for children.
Q. Is there a rain site?
A. The event will be held at the planned site and on the planned date - rain or shine.
Q. Will there be medical personnel on hand in case of an illness or injury?
A. Yes. Organizers are working closely with the City of Albany to be sure that there are EMT's and other emergency personnel at the rally site. There will also be a dedicated tent staffed with trained personnel, to respond to any medical emergency.
Q. Who will be speaking at the rally?
Many voices will be on hand to defend public education. Here's a partial list of VIPs.
Q. What's the best way to share my photos with NYSUT Communications staff?
Please send us your photos as you load your bus and get ready to depart! For best results, use a camera that takes high-resolution photos. When you send photos, include your name and contact information (cell phone is perfect) and the names of people in the photo, where they are from and where the photo was taken ("John Doe of Bigtown TA boards the bus in Buffalo," for example.) You can email photos to email@example.com.
This page was updated June 7. First posted May 9, 2013.