January-February 2018 Issue
December 20, 2017

Resources for you: Free Black History Month poster features diplomat Ralphe Bunche

Source: NYSUT United

2017 Black History posterFree Black History Month poster

NYSUT celebrates Black History Month in February with a poster highlighting the work of Ralph Johnson Bunche (1904–1971), an American political scientist, academic and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for mediating a cease-fire between Israeli and Arab forces in the Palestinian region in the late 1940s. He was the first African-American to receive the prize.

Bunche was involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations. He actively supported Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s non-violent tactics, participating in the 1963 March on Washington and the Selma-to- Montgomery Voting Rights March in 1965. Marking a lifetime of distinguished accomplishments, Bunche received 69 honorary doctorates. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Printable posters can be downloaded or ordered at www.nysut.org/poster.

Teachers, remember to take your tax deduction

Almost half of New York State teachers are missing out on a helpful federal income tax deduction, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Teachers can deduct up to $250 for their out-of-pocket classroom expenses — which can average about $485 every year. The federal Educator Expense Tax Deduction was implemented in 2015, yet, according to IRS data, only 52 percent of New York teachers have taken advantage of the savings. Two married teachers filing jointly can each take the deduction, which is limited to teachers who worked at least 900 hours at a state-certified public school in grades K–12. Be sure to take the deduction while you still can. As NYSUT United went to press, Congress had not finalized a tax reform package. The deduction still applies for 2017 tax filings.

fafsaFinancial aid resources for educators, students

Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, offers an online financial aid toolkit for counselors at https://financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/. The site includes information on conferences and curriculum materials, tips on hosting events and even sample messages for social media, emails or newsletters.

Another resource for educators and students is FAFSA: The How-To Guide for High School Students (And the Adults Who Help Them). The guide, published by the Center for New York City Affairs, is particularly useful for students and families filling out the U.S. DOE's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the first time. The how-to guide was written in partnership with New York City guidance counselors and financial aid professionals and made possible thanks to Capital One Bank. It addresses the most common questions of students and families.

To download the guide in English or Spanish, visit www.understandingfafsa.org. Limited numbers of free print copies are also available while supplies last at www.freefafsaguide.com.

Share strategies at summer STEM Institute

The New York State STEM Education Collaborative Summer Institute is putting out the call for presentations and/or poster sessions for K–20 activities that integrate problem-solving learning. "Innovate to Integrate: Cultivating Tomorrow's Problem Solvers" is the theme for the conference that will be July 29–31 at SUNY Alfred College of Technology.

To submit presentation proposals for the 2018 conference, visit www.nysstemeducation.org through March 23. To attend, look for online registration and housing links to open April 14. Attendees can earn up to 15 Continuing Teacher and Leader Education professional development hours.

Coming Up

Jan. 3
2018 state legislative session begins.

Jan. 5–6
NYSUT Higher Ed Council meets, Fashion Institute of Technology

Jan. 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For lessons on Dr. King and the civil rights movement, visit www.sharemylesson.com.

Jan. 16
Governor's budget plan due

Jan. 22–23
Board of Regents meets, Albany

Jan. 26–27
NYSUT Subject Area Committee meetings, Colonie

Jan. 28–29
UUP Winter Delegate Assembly, Saratoga

Feb. 9–10
NYSUT Board of Directors meets, Latham

Feb. 16–18
NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators annual legislative conference, Albany

Feb. 28
BOCES Lobby Day, Albany Higher Ed Lobby Day, Albany

March 5–6
NYSUT Committee of 100 legislative meetings, Albany