55/25 option stands
A state Supreme Court ruling that validated Chapter 45 was great news for NYSUT members who took advantage of the early retirement option that allows retirement for those 55 and older with full benefits after 25 years of service. Although the plaintiff — Empire State Administrators and Supervisors Association — is appealing, it does not have automatic stay of the decision, so the ruling stands unless a higher court decides otherwise.
Focus shifts to ESEA
Now that the Jobs bill is complete, Congress might begin work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act prior to recess.
Both houses had begun a series of hearings on different aspects of the law. Union leaders are waiting for language to be released from House and Senate committees.
Educators were outspoken when the Obama administration released a blueprint that would carry forward the worst elements of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, including an over-reliance on testing and a strategy to improve low-performing public schools by turning them over to private operators.
NYSUT and its national affiliates opposed the initial reauthorization plan for placing too much focus on states and districts competing for funding, rather than providing resources based on need.
Delegates to NYSUT's annual convention in April voted to urge Congress to support traditional formula funding.