February 2011 Issue
February 08, 2011

Short Takes: NY students on Intel list

Source: NYSUT United

NY students on Intel list

Seven New York state students are among the 40 finalists for the Intel Science Talent Search. Of the 300 semifinalists in the prestigious science research competition for high school seniors, 100 were from New York schools.

"No other state even comes close to the level of achievement New York state schools provide," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira of the honor that's often described as the Nobel Prize for high school mathematicians and scientists.

The top winner will be selected March 15 and will earn $100,000 after presenting original research.

For names of New York finalists and links to the Intel Science Talent Search, go to www.blogs.nysut.org. Log on to www.societyforscience.org/document.doc?id=264 for a list of semifinalists.

Two Special Acts to close

Two of the state's 13 Special Act schools, West Park School in Ulster County and Hopevale School in Hamburg, Erie County, are slated to shut their doors in the coming months.

Created by special acts of the state Legislature, the schools serve residential and day students with severe emotional disabilities.

For years, NYSUT has lobbied to repair an outdated and precarious funding methodology used to finance Special Act and 853 Schools. School funding rises and falls as students are admitted and discharged throughout the school year.

In 2009, Gov. Paterson vetoed a bill that would have allowed the schools to maintain a 4 percent fund balance from year to year.

In addition, as school districts keep troubled students in house to save money, enrollments are declining at Special Acts, creating another budget hole.

RA elections info published

In case you missed it, the 2011 NYSUT Representative Assembly Notice of Election, Notice of Nomination, and Campaign and Election Procedures were published in the January issue of NYSUT United on pages 34-39.

Organizing for women

The Berger-Marks Foundation's mission is to bring the benefits of unionism to working women and provide resources, training, and financial assistance to women organizers.

Its website offers the latest news updated regularly including tips, tactics, legal issues, events, a multitude of resources, and effective strategies women organizers use. Grants are available to support organizing efforts and related activities. Visit http://www.bergermarks.org/.

Valentine's Day checklist

With the approach of Valentine's Day, a major chocolate-buying day, the state Labor-Religion Coalition has outlined a series of actions you can take to improve conditions for the beleaguered workers who supply the cocoa.

Go to http://www.labor-religion.org/ and click on the Valentine's Day links in Updates for information on such actions as sending a personalized valentine calling on Hershey to start using Fair Trade chocolate for its products.