ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 19, 2021 — New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released the following statement today regarding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal:
“This tale of two budgets is stark and a clear message to Washington that New York needs its fair share in additional stimulus funding. We agree. But, as we’ve said since last year, a two-pronged approach to the state’s fiscal crisis that includes additional federal funding for public services and new state taxes on the ultrawealthy is a long-term imperative.
“It’s a positive signal to hear that the governor’s best case scenario budget would turn fair funding from Washington into significant resources for K-12 education, higher education and health care. However, under the ‘worst case scenario,’ using federal money while reducing the state’s share of education funding — rather than supplementing state funding — is reminiscent of the Gap Elimination Adjustment we fought for years to close. As a state, we can’t afford to view cuts of any kind to public schools and colleges, public health care, and other public services funded by state and local governments as a default option — especially when the billionaire class has seen its wealth grow as millions of New York families have struggled during this pandemic.
“We look forward to reviewing the executive budget legislation in detail and amplifying the voices of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in education,
ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 19, 2021 — New York State United Teachers today called on the state Education Department to request a federal waiver of grade 3-8 and high school testing requirements — just as New York was granted last year — amid the ongoing challenges students and educators statewide are facing related to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Interim State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa, Regents Chancellor Lester Young Jr. and the Board of Regents, the union noted that the pandemic has continued to disrupt the normal education process, as schools have vacillated between hybrid, in-person and remote offerings. Even as educators have doubled their work to help students keep up with state education standards, it is clear that, “Throughout this school year there has not been a standardized mode of instruction across the state,” the letter states.
“Without standardized instructional modes there should not be a standardized test at the end of the year,” the union wrote. “On top of this, teachers are trying to address the social emotional needs of students caused by the pandemic and racial unrest caused by the death of George Floyd. Given the recent surge, it is unlikely that will change much for the rest of the school year, we urge you to request a federal waiver of the grade 3-8 and high school testing requirements to relieve the current pressure on the school system.”
The union also is calling on the state to delay implementation of the Next Generation Learning Standards until the...
As part of the National Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, First Book Inc. is hosting two free, live virtual events celebrating diversity and the importance of getting books to children in need.
The author events will feature live readings, Q&A sessions and discussions about the importance of getting books to children that feature diverse characters, cultures and stories.
From 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., the featured author is Andrea Davis Pinkney. She is a New York Times bestselling author and Coretta Scott King award-winning author. Andrea has written a multitude of wonderful children’s books, including Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra, Pretty Brown Face, Dear Benjamin Banneker, and A Poem for Peter.
From 3:00 - 4:00 p.m., there will be a talk with Hena Khan, an award-winning author of middle grade novels Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More to the Story. She has also written the picture books Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others.
First Book, a non-profit group that partners with the American Federation of Teachers, is also collecting contact information...
ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 11, 2021 — New York State United Teachers today congratulated Dr. Lester W. Young Jr. on being elected chancellor of the state Board of Regents, becoming the first African American chancellor in the board’s history:
“We congratulate Chancellor Young on his election and look forward to working with him as he leads the board during the ongoing challenges our education system faces during this pandemic,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “In particular, we share his vision for fighting for educational equity and believe that we can play a critical role in the work the board will continue to do on this issue.”
“We believe Chancellor Young is the right choice to lead the board as educators continue to navigate the challenges our schools face related not only to the pandemic, but also to inequity in our public education system,” NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene T. DiBrango said. “He has been a fastidious leader and champion of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and we look forward to working with him to address opportunity gaps that exist across the state.”
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...