BTA Meeting Wednesday
See you at 3:00 in the cafeteria!
Thank you for helping the BTA collect food and other essentials for the Food Bank of Westchester!
Have you told Glenn Stockton what time you're available on Saturday to assist with collecting food at the A & P?
A NYSUT Resolution
NYSUT has decided to call for a NO-CONFIDENCE vote for New York State's commissioner of education and to call for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes testing related to the common core, and to rescind its support for common core implementation in New York State.
Here's the press release from NYSUT:
NYSUT press release
Save the Date!
Saturday, June 14
Our 2nd Annual Rockland Boulders outing!
We'll tailgate outside the stadium again, and stay for the fireworks after the game!
NYSUT expresses optimism on opening of legislative session
Source: NYSUT Media Relations
ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 14 – New York State United Teachers today expressed optimism that elected leaders are beginning to listen to parents and educators who are calling for dramatically increased state aid to public education and for a three-year moratorium on the high-stakes consequences from standardized testing, so that the State Education Department can make necessary course corrections.
NYSUT said it was encouraged by the 83 legislators who have endorsed a $1.9 billion school aid increase in next year’s state budget, and by several promising bills which today passed the Senate Education Committee. The union also acknowledged the release of the final report of the governor’s Education Reform Commission.
“Students, parents and educators have seen the damage wrought by billions of dollars in state aid cuts, and from the State Education Department’s failed implementation of the Common Core. They are looking for real, meaningful solutions,” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “We are encouraged by some of the early discussion and action, especially the legislative endorsement of a robust school aid increase to direct as much money into classrooms as possible and real conversation about a moratorium.”
He added, “While there is still much to digest in today’s release of the Education Reform Commission report, the call for universal, full-day pre-kindergarten suggests policymakers understand the critical importance of investing in education and supporting the state’s youngest learners.”
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta noted the Senate Education Committee today moved several NYSUT-backed bills, including legislation requiring SED to expedite changes to teacher evaluation plans to help reduce state testing; a ban on standardized testing for the state’s youngest students; and requiring SED to audit and report on the scope and cost of state standardized testing. Pallotta noted that Education Chair John Flanagan, R-Northport, said he “believes we will see legislative action” this year on a moratorium.
“The voices of students, parents, teachers and grassroots activists have been echoing around the state, demanding an increased investment in public education; an end to the state’s obsession with testing and data; and a moratorium on the high-stakes consequences for students and teachers from state testing,” Pallotta said. “It is encouraging to see steps in the right direction so early in the legislative session.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members. Members are pre-K-12 teachers; school-related professionals; higher education faculty; other professionals in education, human services and health care; and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.
New York State Tax Cap (News from NYSUT)
Tax cap gets smaller with 1.46 percent CPI increase for 2013
The 2013 calendar year average increase in the CPI was 1.46 percent. This is important because under the tax cap law, allowable increases in the property tax levy is based on either 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Therefore, districts will use a 1.46 percent inflation factor, not 2 percent, when they calculate their tax levy cap for 2014-15. The districts must submit their calculation to the state comptroller by March 1.
In Bronxville, we'll be paying attention to the board meetings and the budget workshops on Saturday, February 1, and Saturday, March 1 to learn about the local impact of the cap.
The cap continues to be a downward influence on school budgets throughout the state.
A Request for Help from Lissi Alcivar
I received this email from Lissi Alcivar
I was wondering if you could help me get the word out to my fellow BTA members about my nephew. My nephew, DJ, is 4 years old and has Microtia. Microtia is a congenital deformity where the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped. Microtia occurs in 1 out of about 8,000–10,000 births and affects hearing. DJ attends the New York School for the Deaf and wears a BAHA hearing aid to help him hear a little clearer. We have started fundraising to gather funds to help pay for his surgeries since his insurance does not cover them.
I have attached a flyer with more information. I am also selling chocolate to help my sister's efforts.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks so much for your time.
Martin Luther King Jr. Talks about the Labor Movement
"The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome. When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society."
—Speech to the state convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Oct. 7, 1965
Thomas L. Friedman in the NY Times
Did you read this one on Sunday?
Obama's Homework Assignment
It begins with this question:
"Are we falling behind as a country in education not just because we fail to recruit the smartest college students to become teachers or reform-resistant teachers’ unions, but because of our culture today: too many parents and too many kids just don’t take education seriously enough and don’t want to put in the work needed today to really excel?"
Be sure to speak to whomever helps you with your taxes about the deductions you can take for paying your union dues.
Please let me know of important happenings in the lives of BTA members, so that I can print them in the BTA NEWS from time to time.