ALBANY, N.Y. May 14, 2015 — New York State United Teachers will stage a Day of Advocacy Friday, calling on state lawmakers to use the remaining days of this year's legislative session to enact measures that protect and enhance public education.
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS. Visit NYSUT's Member Action Center to urge lawmakers to sign on to NYSUT's 9-point-plan to #ReclaimTheJoy of public education!
NYSUT's campaign centers on a 9-point legislative plan designed to help educators and students "Reclaim the Joy of Teaching and Learning." The union is also working to ensure the state Board of Regents adopts an evaluation system that is fair and meaningful. Local unions will amplify NYSUT's push Friday by holding after-school rallies in various parts of the state, as well as conducting social media blitzes (#ReclaimTheJoy) and letter-writing campaigns urging lawmakers to stand up against the governor's test-and-punish education agenda.
"As this year's legislative session winds down, we are committed to ramping up our efforts to protect students, educators, public schools and our SUNY and CUNY campuses," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "If the state is serious about improving the future of our children and its public K-12 and higher-ed systems, then it must provide students and educators the teaching and learning conditions necessary to succeed."
NYSUT's 9-point plan specifically calls on the state Senate and Assembly to:
- Free school aid from the November 2015 deadline for APPR.
- Remove test scores from APPR.
- Support local decision-making in the hiring, tenure and disciplining of teachers.
- Amend the receivership provision to give struggling schools a true year or more to turn around and show improvement.
- Reform the tax cap to allow for common-sense exemptions or adjustments for things like enrollment growth.
- Pass legislation supporting parents' right to opt their children out of developmentally inappropriate tests.
- Retain local control and repeal mandatory outside evaluators.
- Enact and implement true charter school accountability.
- Support community schools legislation.
"Education is not merely a job, it is a calling; and every day our state's public school teachers dedicate themselves to ensuring all students have an opportunity to succeed because they care and because they know that education improves lives," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta. "By supporting our educators, we can help inspire them to embrace the joy of teaching, so that their students can embrace the joy of learning."
Here is a sampling of rallies being held Friday: www.nysut.org/advocacyschedule
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.