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  1. While a traditional face-to-face BOCES Lobby Week isn’t possible right now, BOCES students, educators and parents made the most of technology to tell lawmakers how important it is to fully fund BOCES.

    With a full week of virtual meetings and poignant video messages, students, educators, parents and administrators put a face on the state’s wide range of BOCES programming — ­whether it’s offering popular career and technical education, a foundation for college and the military, or a lifeline for students who aren’t thriving in traditional school settings.

    Lily Ansell was one of those special education students who needed a smaller setting and more mental health support than her home district could provide.

    In Zoom sessions with western New York legislators, Lily and her mom explained how the supportive approach and hands-on learning at Erie 1 BOCES have made her dream of becoming an animal trainer a reality.



    “BOCES has helped me so much,” said Lily, who is enrolled in both special education and career and technical education programs. “Now I’m on the honor roll and planning to go to SUNY Cobleskill’s animal science program for canine training and management.”

    But under the

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  2. The NYSUT Subject Area Arts Committee invites educators to participate in a K-12 Virtual 2021 Visual and Performing Arts Showcase for student artists in New York State.

    “INSIDE/OUTSIDE: Students of the Arts Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic”



    This showcase is open to all the arts: Music, Theater, Dance, Visual and Media Arts.

    For more information, contact Joan L. Davidson or Terry McSweeney: Research@nysut.org, or consult the submission

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  3. ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 25, 2021 — NYSUT President Andy Pallotta issued the following statement today on the ongoing confusion over the standards required to safely return students to in-person instruction in New York districts:

    “As educators, we want our students to return to schools as soon as it is safe. Contrary to recent reports, the safety standards surrounding a return to in-person instruction in schools have not changed, nor has the science behind those standards. The New York State Department of Health and the CDC all agree: the safety of our students demands mandatory mask wearing and six feet of social distancing or the use of effective physical barriers. Decisions must also still be made collaboratively with parents and educators. These standards have not and must not change.”

    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.




  4. ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 24, 2021 — New York State United Teachers today announced a new state legislative agenda intended to promote racial and social justice in education, calling for funding in the upcoming state budget to help improve school climates, foster implicit bias training programs for educators and diversify the education workforce. The announcement was made during NYSUT’s Wednesday evening Black History Month Celebration and conversation with state Board of Regents Chancellor Dr. Lester Young Jr. on diversifying the education workforce.

    NYSUT’s Advancing Racial Justice in Education Agenda builds on the union’s ongoing social justice work both in education and in communities across the state and will help carry forward important conversations around diversity and racial justice held during Black History Month celebrations.  

    “Social justice work is union work, and as a union of educators from diverse communities across New York, we know we can play a significant role in bringing about important social change,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Whether it’s fighting for greater equity in school funding or seeking new

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  5. ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 23, 2021 — New York State United Teachers today strongly rebuked the federal government’s decision to mandate that states administer standardized tests this school year.

    “In a year that has been anything but standard, mandating that students take standardized tests just doesn’t make sense,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “As the educators in the classroom, we have always known that standardized tests are not the best way to measure a child’s development, and they are especially unreliable right now. We need to ensure that our students who have been hit hardest during the pandemic receive the support they need. Sizing up students with inequitable and stressful exams is not the solution.”

    NYSUT previously encouraged the state to request a federal waiver of grades 3–8 and high school testing requirements. Thousands of comments were submitted to the state by educators demanding a waiver of testing requirements this year.

    “We have grave concerns that standardized tests at any level can be administered in any sort of equitable way,” NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene T. DiBrango said. “Students deserve better. Regardless of what flexibility the federal government provides, no student should be forced to come to school in personjust to take a test.”

    New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education,

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