The Local Forum For Education Is Quickly Approaching-
Plan To Be There!!
The next major forum in our area is on Thursday March 19th, just minutes away in Spencerport. Please attend this very important event starting at 5:50 pm for a friendly pickett outside followed by the 7 pm forum at the PAC, Spencerport High School.
The scheduled speakers are knowledgable and have much to share with you about the current budget process and how it might affect our classrooms!
This is our time to act.
It should be easy to carpool with a colleague or two.
Find detailed information here for this forum.
Be Sure To Wear Your HCSTA Apparel!!
Buffalo Area School Board Considers Exempting All K-8 Students From Testing Until the Governor Acts in the Interest of Students!
See The Buffalo News article here!
Most HCSTA Apparel Has Arrived
If you ordered apparel by March 1st, you should receive it SOON- if you have not already! A few remaining items will arrive in the coming week- before the Thursday pm FORUM! They are stylish and sport our new HCSTA logo! If you haven't ordered yet, you will definitely want to once you see the latest apparel- there are stlyes to suit all tastes.
Stay tuned for info about an additional order. No doubt it will be soon once members see the new items.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Goodwill Fades in Albany Ahead of Budget Talks
Cuomo’s ethics proposals irk legislators, as tensions in the Capitol reach new heights
As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo heads into a month of tense negotiations to hammer out a state budget, he is facing off with an emboldened Legislature.
After four years of general goodwill between the Democratic governor and legislators, state lawmakers—frustrated by his ethics proposals and provoked by his budget threats—have in recent weeks introduced measures aimed at disrupting his agenda.
Find the remainder of the article here.
Make the Right Call:
Attend a community forum supporting public education).
Stay tuned for more- You could even organize one yourself
Upcoming events in the area:
--March 5 Dansville Dansville Central School 7 PM
--March 5 RTA (Rochester Teacher’s Assoc.) 5 PM Temple B’rith Kodesh 2131 Elmwood Ave.
--March 13 Honeoye Central School 6:30 PM
--March 19 Geneva, NY Hobart and William Smith College Geneva Room 7 PM
--March 19 Spencerport 7 PM Spencerport High School 7 PM
Educate yourself, family, and friends
· Register and Vote
· Donate to Vote Cope
Looking for Cuomo Today?…Don’t Look In a School….:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to visit Solvay today. The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Solvay-Geddes Youth Center. The governor has been invited to visit schools in the area but will leave immediately after the event to support charter schools back in Albany.
If you are available today please consider calling him out.
Education Activists In Albany
As hundreds of people congregated at the south end of the Empire State Plaza concourse, conversations crescendoed to a loud rumble. It was like standing on a crowded uptown platform while the downtown express is barreling through.
But when organizers at Monday's "Call Out Cuomo March on Albany" got everybody pointed in the same direction and chanting in unison — "Fee Fi Fo Fum, look out Cuomo here we come!" — it felt more like a freight train pulling everyone along.
"We are here to make some noise!" said Tracey Gold of the Ichabod Crane Teachers Association.
More than a thousand parents, educators and public school advocates came together to protest Gov. Cuomo's anti-public education budget that shortchanges students while advancing a "test-and-punish" agenda.
Next Scheduled Forum: Thursday, March 5th.
It is necessary to make reservations if you plan to attend. See the detailed information here!
Sponsored by The Rochester Teachers Association/NYSUT/AFT/NEA
Hilton Teachers Attend Fairport Forum
Hilton teachers showed their support in the fight for education. It was cold but they braved the elements.
Remember that we all need to attend the forum in Spencerport on March 19. Mark it on your calendars! Bring the whole family!!
YOU CAN HELP:
Help plan the Forum for Education scheduled in Spencerport!
A meeting is scheduled on March 4 @ Cosgrove Middle School (4pm) to plan for the upcoming forum, March 19th. Ideally each building needs at least two or thee volunteers. If you are interested, please contact President Pam Stadtmiller.
Check out the NYSUT Legislative and Political newslettter here. Stay informed about what is going on in Albany.
Revised Plan for Rally and Forum on February 26th at Minerva DeLand School in Fairport. See updated information below.
NYSUT blasts Cuomo’s “cluelessness” on evaluations
ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 23, 2015 — New York State United Teachers President Karen E. Magee released the following statement in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s misinformed comments about New York’s teacher-principal evaluation law:
“The governor’s cluelessness about teacher evaluations and his disdain for the teaching profession have never been more apparent. The only thing skewed here is the governor’s logic.
“Each teacher evaluation plan uses multiple measures and was reviewed and approved by the State Education Department. Many were sent back for required changes. The department lists the NYSUT-suggested scoring rubric on EngageNY as meeting its requirements for fairness and rigor. (https://www.engageny.org/resource/guidance-on-new-york-s-annual-professional-performance-review-law-and-regulations/: Page 111) It is insane to once again scapegoat teachers for a process that the state controlled, reviewed and directed.
“If a teacher is rated ‘effective’ based on a student’s standardized test scores, ‘effective’ on locally developed measures of student achievement and ‘effective’ on the 60-point observation portion of the evaluation, that teacher should be rated ‘effective’ overall. That’s common sense.
“The governor is so enthralled with his billionaire hedge fund pals, he continues to ignore a growing body of research and what the rest of the nation — including Texas — now knows: Student test scores are not reliable, accurate or stable measures of either student achievement or teacher effectiveness. Standardized tests should be used to diagnose student learning and inform instruction. NYSUT supports evaluations that respect local control and are meaningful and fair. We will continue to stand with children, parents and communities against the governor’s harmful ‘test-and-punish’ agenda.”
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.
Order NOW To Wear NEW HCSTA Apparal to the Upcoming Forums!
See your building Public Relations rep to submit your order.
Make checks out to American Products.
Styles, sizes and pricing available in the brochure!
What You Need to Know to Attend the Rally and Forum for Public Education on February 26th
Revised Plan for Rally and Forum on February 26th at Minerva DeLand School in Fairport
What You Need To Know To Attend!!!!!!
They are going forward with the Rally the Forum for Public Education on Thursday but plans have changed slightly. Rather than a lengthy open air Rally and Community Walk, they will, due to the extreme weather and unsafe conditions from a month of snow, curtail the Rally portion of the evening to a positive picket in the front of the Minerva DeLand School on the sidewalk from 5:50 to 6:30 P.M. The Forum will go on as planned at 7:00 P.M. in the Minerva DeLand Auditorium.Rally and Forum are at Minerva DeLand School on Hulburt Road in the Village of Fairport
Gather: 4:00 to 4:30 at Minerva DeLand school parking lot
Walk: 4:30 to 5:15 the block bordered by Potter Place, Church Street, Main Street and Hulburt
Rally: Music and Speakers: 5:15 – 5:50 5:50 to 6:30 P.M.
Move to Minerva DeLand School Auditorium for Forum [Leaving signs outside to be collected later]
Forum in Minerva DeLand Auditorium: 7:00
#1 PARKING is going to be a challenge. Please car pool and/or use the shuttle bus service
#2 Please bring a SIGN for the March at 4:30, the Rally at 5:15 and the Forum at 7:00. All signs will be left outside of the school by the main entrance during the forum and picked up later
#3 WEAR hats, coats and gear which proclaim Community and School Pride!
#4 BRING banners promoting your organization, school, and community!
TELL ME MORE ABOUT PARKING!!!!!!!!!
PLEASE CAR POOL!!!!!!!!!!
SHUTTLE BUS PARKING LOTS: SHUTTLE BUSSES will continuously cycle.
Visitors from the WEST can park in the EAST ROCHESTER SCHOOL parking lot, north of the ER K – 12 complex on Fairport Road. This parking lot is accessible via Washington Street/Ivy Street for its western entrance and Main Street/Woodbine for its eastern entrance. The SHUTTLE BUS will cycle through every twenty minutes from 4:00 until 9:30
Visitors from the EAST can park in the FAIRPORT HIGH SCHOOL parking lot on Ayrault Road, the Perinton Center Park parking lot on Ayrault Road and the Martha Brown Middle School parking lot on Ayrault Road. The SHUTTLE BUS will cycle through these three locations every fifteen minutes from 4:00 until 9:30.
Parking is also available at the Johanna Perrin Middle School on Potter Place and the
Brooks Hill School on Hulburt Road. These lots are steps away from the Rally/Forum and likely to fill up quickly. The Municipal lots in the Village of Fairport are just off the route for the March and are also available.
Please avoid parking on village streets in such a way that emergency vehicles may be impeded. As First Responders to the needs of children, we are acutely aware of the work of our fellow First Responders in the Fire Service and Law Enforcement!!
Rest rooms will be available in the gym area at Minerva DeLand and room for warming up will be available.
In the event of extreme weather, the event will be postponed via news alerts and email. This is highly unlikely. The event will be a “go” unless conditions are not safe.
In the event that the auditorium at Minerva DeLand is filled to capacity, the FORUM will be live broadcast to a large screen in the Minerva DeLand gymnasium for the overflow crowd to watch and listen.
PLEASE GIVE ME THE TIMES AGAIN:
4:00 GATHER AT MINERVA DELAND PARKING LOT
4:30 MARCH THROUGH VILLAGE
5:15 – 5:50 RALLY IN MINERVA DELAND PARKING LOT
PROCEED TO MINERVA DELAND AUDITORIUM [leave signs outside entrance]
7:00 8:30 FORUM IN MINERVA DELAND AUDITORIUM
HOME TO WATCH THE NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SAVE THE DATE:
There are (2) Public Education Forums coming up:
2/26 – Fairport - 7 pm is the Forum @ Minerva DeLand School (there is a Rally before for association members- current/retired)
3/19 – Spencerport – 7pm is the Forum @ HS (there is a Rally before for association members – current/retired)
Forum will feature parents, students, school board members, teachers, school support staff, college faculty and other community members. The meeting will provide for each community and surrounding communities to learn more about this year’s proposed education budget and perhaps more important, the “education reform” proposals which the Governor has tied to the budget. Speakers from the community will be afforded the opportunity to speak on the these issues and to let our Regents and legislators know how they feel about the proposals.
Invite Governor Cuomo into your classroom.
First, we invite each of you to #InviteCuomo to visit your successful classroom by taking a selfie (or other photo) of you, or you and a colleague—a para if you work with one, but no kids.
- Post the picture on FB with the invitation to visit your successful classroom and see your students at work. Include your name, school and grade level.
- Tweet it to @NYGovCuomo and @nysutrochro.
- If you email the picture and info to the RO, we will post it on NYSUT Rochester’s FB page. Tweet the invite and let us know that you’ve done so.
- Send a copy of it to your local senator or assemblyperson.
- We’d like to have 1000 invites from the Rochester region by next Friday- and do them!
Use Social Media to Keep Up With HCSTA & Other Local Efforts!
With more and more people using facebook and twitter to communicate, why not use them for info about union activity?
Get info about ideas in contacting legislators. Remember- We need you to contact your legislators now more than ever! This is a massive statewide effort!
Spread the word to your family and friends about the dangerous threat Cuomo and his cronies are to NY education- encourage them to contact their legistlators too!
- Find out what neighboring districts are doing in response to Cuomo's agenda.
Hilton Central Schools Teachers Association Facebook
Spencerport Teachers Association Facebook
Greece Teachers Association Facebook
Rochester Teachers Association Facebook
PLEASE READ - URGENT! We Need to Get Behind These GEA Bills! Send a Message to Your Legislators NOW!
(RESENDING TO ADD SENATE BILL NO. S.2743 IN FOURTH PARAGRAPH)
ASSEMBLY & SENATE BILLS INTRODUCED THAT WOULD COMPEL STATE TO FULLY END GEA THIS YEAR!
WE NEED YOU TO STRONGLY
URGE YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS IN BOTH HOUSES TO SIGN ON AS A BILL CO-SPONSOR
& JOIN THIS BI-PARTISAN EFFORT
TO GET IT PASSED!!!
SEND A MESSAGE TO THEM NOW!!!
SEE INFO BELOW
To: SSFC Membership
From: Dr. Rick Timbs, Executive Director
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) and Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma) have introduced bi-partisan legislation (Assembly Bill A.2271 & Senate Bill S.2743) that would completely put an immediate end to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) in 2015-16 and thereafter and provide school districts with the full amount of state aid they are legally allowed receive.
This is BIG news because - as you know all too well - because the GEA has unjustly deducted over $9 billion in badly needed state aid since 2010-11. If these bills become law the $1 billion remaining in GEA that would have been withheld will be fully restored to your state aid this year.
A big help in getting this vital legislation passed will be to get as many members of both the Assembly and the Senate - OF BOTH PARTIES - to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill.
To do this WE NEED YOU TO SEND A LETTER OR EMAIL OR CALL (...or all three!) YOUR ASSEMBLY MEMBER AND SENATOR AND URGE THEM TO BECOME A CO-SPONSOR OF ASSEMBLY BILL 2271 or SENATE BILL S.2743 AND TO WORK FOR THE BILL'S PASSAGE IN THEIR HOUSE.
Tell your legislators the stories of how GEA has hurt your children and schools through the elimination of jobs and programs Remember, if our legislators hear from MANY OF US the chances are better they will pay attention to this issue and do something about it.
CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE LETTER YOU CAN SEND OR USE TO CRAFT A MESSAGE OF YOUR OWN
CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF ASSEMBLY MEMBERS OR TO FIND OUT WHO REPRESENTS YOU
CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF SENATE MEMBERS OR TO FIND OUT WHO REPRESENTS YOU
Please share this message with everyone you know who has a stake or an interest in Your schools - school board members, administrators, faculty, parents, community members, etc.
We thank Assembly Member Woerner and Senator Gallivan for the leadership they have shown in this matter that is so vital to us all.
VISIT SSFC ONLINE: www.statewideonline.org
QUESTIONS? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IF WE DO NOTHING...THEN NOTHING WILL HAPPEN!
Just What Is Gap Elimination Adjustment?
- Since the 2009-10 school year, the state has deducted from each school district’s state aid allocation an amount now known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) to help the state fill its revenue shortfall. The state must stop shifting its costs to local school districts.
- Districts have been coping with the cumulative impact of four of consecutive years of state aid losses resulting from the GEA. The net impact has been detrimental to students in the form of cuts in personnel, programs and services and the depletion of district reserves.
- The New York State School Boards Association strongly supports the elimination or additional reduction of the GEA.
WHERE DID THE GEA ORIGINATE?
In a nutshell, the state aid due to each district for the 2009-10 school year was reduced by an amount, based on a formula, known as the DRA. Simultaneously, the governor and legislature froze Foundation Aid, the largest education aid category, at 2008-09 levels. As a result, the DRA reduction was subtracted from a state aid total for each district that was already frozen at the previous year’s level.
Continue reading here.
Andrew Cuomo’s attack on public schools
His teacher-evaluation reforms would scare away good educators and further distort classroom education
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 5:00 AM
Gov. Cuomo’s reform agenda for the schools is dangerously wrong. It will harm students, teachers and public education. It will waste taxpayer dollars on failed policies.
The governor says that our public schools are in crisis. In fact, they rank the same on national tests as 20 years ago — in the middle of the pack. Only 30% of our students passed the new Common Core tests, but 80% passed the state tests they replaced.
Scores fell not because students or teachers got worse, but because the new tests were designed to fail 70% of students. Then-Education Commissioner John King predicted the failure rate before the tests were given.
Cuomo said in his State of the State speech that “everyone will tell you nationwide, the key to education reform is a teacher evaluation system.”
Click HERE to continue reading.
MAC Text Alerts Help Keep You Informed!!!
February 2015 is NYSUT Member Appreciation Month
In celebration of the entire NYSUT membership and all that NYSUT members do to make our union strong, NYSUT Member Benefits is recognizing February 2015 as Member Appreciation Month. Member Benefits has teamed up with its endorsed program providers for this month-long event that will feature 28 daily prizes along with a special grand prize! Prizes being offered include a Bose Wave Radio, Amazon Kindle Fires, an iPad Mini, a variety of gift cards, and the grand prize of a 50 inch high-definition flatscreen television.
To be eligible to win these prizes, NYSUT members only need to be members of the Member Benefits voluntary MAP Alert email service. All current MAP members are automatically entered to win! Those individuals who would like to join the MAP Alert service should visit the Member Benefits website at memberbenefits.nysut.org to easily sign up now.
Help spread the word about this event. Please encourage others to join the MAP Alert email service (if they have not already done so) to be eligible to win.
Again, prize drawings will be held daily, with the winners announced exclusively at memberbenefits.nysut.org.
Andy, are you serious??
Educators are OUTRAGED!
CUOMO’S BUDGET PROPOSAL: THE BILLIONAIRES’ AGENDA
Cuomo has planned a calculated assault on education! He wants to gut education to the very core. Is this the answer to improving education? If Cuomo has his way, it will shake NY state to its very core! The damage to society as a whole will be irreparable! Andy, are you serious??
Read the details of Cuomo's proposal- if you are not alarmed, you are NOT paying attention! We must start taking action NOW!
Cuomo's Endgame for Breaking the Teachers Union and Dismantling New York State's Public School System
Take the time to read this excellent letter as education IS under attack! Be sure to read the blog responses which follow. You will find it informative and motivating! Do not passively allow education in New York to be dismantled!
An Important Message from HCSTA President Pam Stadtmiller
I feel that it is crucial and my job to keep you informed at such a tumultuous time in public education. Below I have included specific articles and video’s in case you haven’t seen them.
As some of you may already know, Governor Cuomo declared war on public education and teachers yesterday in his State of the State address. During his re-election campaign, the Governor referred to public education as a monopoly that needed to be broken up. Yesterday, as he rolled out his "2015 Opportunity Agenda," he made good on both his rhetoric and his plan. While the attacks he rolled out may appear to be proposed, he will push their implementation through the NYS budget process. This makes it very difficult for lawmakers that value public education to oppose these proposals.
In a letter dated December 18, the Governor, through his Director of State Operations, asked the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Marryl Tisch, and the outgoing Commissioner of Education, John King, to support his education agenda. In this letter, he spoke of using his power in the state budget process to force changes that would include a new APPR law, revisions to the tenure law, the 3020-a process, and an increase in charter schools. As I pointed out previously, he has also added an attack on teacher pensions.
Yesterday, the Governor announced that a new APPR would be implemented. This new evaluation system would replace the current system which was developed through the collective bargaining process just a few short years ago. He referred to our current APPR as "baloney." This new system will be comprised of two sections. The first part would make state tests worth 50% of our evaluation and the second part would be based entirely on observations. A state-wide system will be put into place that would mandate the dismissal of a teacher that receives two consecutive "ineffective ratings." The APPR system that the HCSTA negotiated with our district and which we are currently revising will be replaced by this system.
The Governor went on to announce that there will be a longer probationary period for teachers prior to the granting of tenure. The probationary period will be extended from three to five years and teachers will be required go through a re-certification process every several years.
He has also called for raising the state's cap on charter schools from 460 to 560. As you know, these are publically funded schools that are privately run. They drain needed funds from our public schools and they don't have the oversight and scrutiny that public schools have to endure. In fact, they have no oversight at all!
HCSTA colleagues, the time to take action is NOW! Please start by subscribing to the NYSUT Member Action Center (MAC). This will provide you with access to up-to-date information on action being taken state-wide and how you can help. It also includes ways you can help perpetuate the conversation using your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please join me by subscribing to the MAC and by downloading the MAC App for your Android or iPhone. Using the App or Web-Based services, you can object to mandatory field testing, support our coalition partner NYSAPE's objection to the Governor's misguided education agenda, and watch NYSUT's new TV ad.
We have Regional officers traveling to Albany this weekend to work with other leaders from around the state on strategies to combat these attacks. On January 28, Matt D’Augustine, Dom Maiorano, Virginia Ericco-Bouji, Aggie Seneway (community liaison) and I, will be attending a meeting with other local leaders to continue working on the implementation of these strategies. One of the strategies that has already been discussed and agreed to is to hold two local forums in Monroe County in February and/or March. We will be inviting Governor Cuomo and our local legislators to these forums. I will provide you with the details of these forums as soon as they are scheduled and hope you can attend and join us.
The time to stand up to the Governor is NOW! The time to defend our rights as educators is NOW! The time to stand up for students is NOW! Please help me send the message that blaming teachers for failures in education and in the education system is not productive! Together we can create a better future for our students, but the Governor's agenda of continuing and strengthening a top-down assessment-based model of education that places the blame soley on teachers is not the way!
Please take the time to get informed as this will affect each and every one of us.x
New Yorkers Call for an Immediate Independent Investigation of Governor Cuomo
for Unconstitutional Interference in Education Policy &
Violations of NY State Public Officer Ethics Law
Governor Andrew Cuomo will address New Yorkers today in his State of the State address which will reveal his education reform agenda, an agenda which amounts to an unconstitutional attempt to seize power and interfere with education policy in New York State.
New Yorkers across the state are rising up to show their dissatisfaction with the Governor’s misguided education agenda, including NYSAPE’s advocacy campaign that generated over a quarter of a million letters to Albany.
In the months leading up to today’s address, Cuomo has made it clear his agenda, and that of his backers, is to assume control of education in New York, going so far as to call local control of democratically governed schools a "monopoly" that must be broken up. The governor has also vowed to expand the growth of privately owned and operated charter schools, schools that are not beholden to public oversight.
In response, New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) calls for an independent investigation of Cuomo’s interference with education policy, violations of NYS Public Officer Ethics Law, and failure to uphold his oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the State of New York.
Governor Does Not Have Oversight of Education Under NYS Constitution: Attempts to Direct Education Agenda Tied to Budget is Unconstitutional
CLICK HERE to continue reading about the Call to Investigate Governor Cuomo!
TAKE ACTION TODAY
DEMAND the NYS Legislature and the Board of Regents stop the anti-public school agenda of the Governor and Chancellor. NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of 50 parent and educator groups statewide, has sent a letter to Governor Cuomo, responding to the questions posed in his December 18th letter to Chancellor Tisch.
NYSAPE's letter uses facts and research to challenge the Cuomo/Tisch reform agenda. NYSAPE advocates for education policies that have been proven to work, based on evidence and experience.
TAKE ACTION AND DEMAND THAT THE BOARD OF REGENTS, INTERIM COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, AND THE NYS LEGISLATORS RESIST THE STRATEGIES THAT ARE CAUSING HARM TO OUR STUDENTS WHILE UNDERMINING THE INTEGRITY OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Mark your calendars for some Basketball fun on Friday, March 6 at Hilton High School.
Our 3 elementary schools will be playing basketball against each other for a good cause!
Come watch your school team and have some fun with foul shots for our fans at half-time, pizza and candy sales.
All proceeds go to Scholarships for Hilton graduating seniors majoring in education.
Sponsored by the HCSTA Scholarship Committee.
Watch for fliers with more information coming to your school soon!
Please remember that it is imperative to attend your building union meeting this month.
Your input is valued!!
Check out this memo from the President of Buffalo Teacher's Association to Commissionor King. BTF calls a Cuomo administration letter "An insulting correspondence reflecting an abysmal and chilling lack of knowledge." Read on for details!
HCSTA Member Kittlinger Awarded the Channel Eight Golden Apple Award!
HCSTA Member and Kindergarten Teacher Kathy Kittlinger received the prestigious Golden Apple Award on Friday, December 12th from News Eight Anchor Kevin Dornan! Kathy was nominated for the Golden Apple by student Alana Neri. Kathy commented, "I had Alana Neri last year in Kindergarten. The way that I have always described her is a GEM!!! She is very inquisitive and personable for her age. She has a lot of feeling and is always brightening everyone’s day with her enthusiasm and spirit. She can read aloud like a teacher and shows her emotion and expression in everything that she does." To see the smile on Alana's face, it is obvious the feeling is mutual!
Congratulations to Kathy for being officially recognized as a caring professional by her students and the Greater Rochester Community.
New membership cards to be mailed soon
Members of NYSUT local unions will receive new NYSUT membership cards by mail at their home address shortly. These valuable cards come with a new feature this year: a miniature version for a key ring that lets members conveniently access benefits and discounts, as well as streamlined check in to local and statewide union events.
The mailing includes a letter from President Karen Magee explaining the benefits, and responsibilities, of union membership. It also includes a brief guide to "what membership means to you" and details of the broad and growing array of NYSUT Member Benefits.
View an update from your NYSUT Leadership!
NYSUT Leadership changed six months ago. See the link above for details on current NYSUT progress.
Time Magazine Trashes Teachers
On Monday, Nov 3, this cover will be in every supermarket checkout line and newstand across the country. It is already online. Time blames teachers for every problem in America's schools. Feel sick to your stomach too?? Time magazine is not trying to foster a serious dialoge about solutions our schools need, it is intentionally creating controversy to sell more copies!! SHAME on Time.
Please tell Time's editors to apologize for this outrageous attack on America's teachers. (click for link)
NYS Education Commissioner John King stepping down. Rejoice? Sure... but with reservations. Find more info here.
Did You Know??
A message from AFT Vice-President Mary Cathryn Ricker:
I used to buy all sorts of supplies for my seventh- and eighth-graders—from basics like pencils and notepads to materials that helped students see their own diversity represented in the room, in my classroom library and in my lessons. And, like millions of teachers, I paid for those supplies out of my own paycheck.
Our government may not adequately fund education yet, but last week, the House of Representatives actually passed a bipartisan bill that would extend the teacher tax deduction. This deduction allows teachers and other school professionals to deduct up to $250 per year from their taxes to help offset money spent to provide additional classroom supplies for students.
Now that the House has acted, it is time for the Senate to step up to the plate and finish the job. Urge your senators to extend the teacher tax deduction.
Many of these supplies, like books and paper, should be provided by schools but aren’t, because of ongoing austerity and budget cuts. We know that many teachers have spent their own money to help maintain a creative and engaging learning environment in the classroom. Those who have paid out of their own pockets for books, supplies, computer equipment, and other equipment and materials could greatly benefit from this deduction.
Urge your senators to pass this bill extending the teacher tax deduction before they leave for the upcoming holidays.
Mary Cathryn Ricker
AFT Executive Vice President
HCSTA Is Styling!
That’s right, be on the lookout for new HCSTA apparel to wear around town and school! A new logo is being designed and styles are being considered by the Executive Board. What a GREAT way to remind the community HCSTA is made up of hard-working and caring professionals. The apparel will be stylish and well tailored while signifying HCSTA unity when worn! Further information will be announced by your building public relations representative in January.
Limited Openings Still Available For Teacher Certification Video Conference!
Wednesday's, December 3rd, Teacher Certification Video Conference.
You can also register for the following:
February 5, 2015 - Teaching Assistant Certification
March 12, 2015 - Teacher Certification
Use this link to register.
Union Support Requested for Officer Pierson Benevolent Event
The Rochester Police Department and the Rochester Police Locust Club have established the Officer Pierson Memorial Fund. Anyone wishing to contribute may do so at their authorized site.
If you would like to send a card or letter to the family of Officer Pierson, please send them to:
The Family of Offcer Daryl Pierson
c/o The Rochester Police Locust Club, Inc.
1425 Lexington Avenue
Rochester, New York 14606
Fall 2014 Member Benefits E-Newsletter
I am proud to present to you the Fall 2014 issue of our quarterly Member Benefits E-Direct electronic newsletter. I hope that you will find the content useful and ask that you pass this publication along to as many of your NYSUT contacts and members as possible.
Each issue of this electronic publication is put together with great thought and effort as we strive to ensure that we offer helpful hints and tips to our members -- an added benefit of NYSUT membership provided at no cost to NYSUT members. We want all NYSUT members to know that membership in NYSUT provides access to a variety of Member Benefits-endorsed programs & services available exclusively to them and their families.
Please click the link below to view this e-newsletter. The publication includes embedded links that will allow you to learn more about our various endorsed programs & services.
One of our goals at NYSUT Member Benefits is to reach the maximum number of members, and we have seen that we are most successful with that goal when people like you share our materials with colleagues and friends. We continue to increase the number of members who are aware of the endorsed programs & services that we offer but still have great potential for growth in this area.
We are also pleased that the number of members who participate in our endorsed programs & services continues to grow each year; with your help in forwarding this email and e-newsletter link to your membership, we are confident that this growth will continue in the future as well.
Thank you for your continued support of NYSUT Member Benefits!
Lynette A. Metz
Director, NYSUT Member Benefits Trust
CEO, NYSUT Member Benefits Corporation
The sick bank has fallen below the minimum 150 day balance. HCSTA is involved and value the process and guidelaines of the sick bank usage. On Nov.21, each teacher will have .5 sick day deducted from accrual balance.
Why Would Anyone Want to be a Teacher Today?
Today's teachers face an adverse political climate bent on undermining their professional status and blaming them for multiple ills while working for their job security and retirement benefits. Are these reasons to stay away from this field or do they make becoming a teacher an even more urgent and compelling decision? Join the conversation!!
Wednesday, November 5
Shultz Center , Forum Room
(see flyer for additional details)
Important Message From Ellen Mancuso, the PAC Coordinator NYSUT Rochester Area
I have made thousands of calls for NYSUT to you, our members. You have been nice to me, changed your mind with me, been rude and hung up on me. Nevertheless, over the years I also hear from members that NYSUT shouldn't tell me what to do! Think about it for a moment...
In the political arena, NYSUT's legislative wing thinks and breathes politics 24x7. The are balancing what we say in our individual districts and expand it out to the big state political chessboard that it is. We study and evaluate our candidates. Our members want the union to protect their rights and the most important tool to do that is YOUR VOTE! Politics are emothional and close to the heart, education and union benefits are not at the top of the list for most voters. There is very big money in Rich Funke's campaign. I am fighting for money for public schools, public colleges, our children and our labor rights. What will you be voting for?
If members want more information on Ted O'Brien, there is an interview on WXXI Connections with Evan Dawson you need to view.
Let's Get Out the Vote! Monroe County Democratic Headquarters
Saturday- Sunday- Monday- Tuesday: November 1-4
Stop at MCDC at your convenience and participate in literature drops and going door to door OR spending an hour on the phone reminding people to vote! Open 8 am to 10 pm.
1150 University Ave. Building 5 (in the back)
Rochester, NY 14607
Call Ellen Mancuso at 585-705-6050 for additonal information
Rochester Labor Council Walks: Literature drop going to union households only.
Saturday and Sunday November 1 and 2
Starting at 9:30 am each day. On Sunday they will be shooting a info-commercial with Louise Slaughter to get out the vote at
221 Dewey Avenue
Rocheester, NY 14608
Hilton Student Battles Rare Childhood Cancer
7th grader Raeanna Parson was recently diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Paraganglioma. Surgery for the removal of the tumor is scheduled for Friday, October 31st. Please keep Raeanna in your thoughts and consider contributing to offset expenses for her family.
Read more information from Rae's mom on the link. For now Rae's family,"Looks forward to the day she will be able to go back to attending school like normal, play soccer and cheer without any complications. Do not feel obligated to leave a donation although it would be much appreciated and go 100% towards Rae and her medical expenses. Prayers are free and always accepted!"
To help Rae and read updates, follow this link!
They Won't Be Buffaloed-Sabers Drawn!
A backlash has quickly mounted to the Buffalo School Board majority's "rammed-through" request last week that the state allow an unprecedented extra round of charter school porposals for the takeover of struggling city public schools.
More than 150 NYSUT members, community activists, parents, students and politicians stood near the steps of City Hall chanting and wearing signs with words, "Buffalo Public Schools YES! Charter Schools NO!
Find more information here.
Check out this (<- link) great opportunity for gift giving:
Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Proposed Capital Project
On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES will be seeking voter approval for capital improvements to its main campus on Big Ridge Road in Spencerport. Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES serves students from the Brockport, Churchville-Chili, Gates Chili, Greece, Hilton, Holley, Kendall, Spencerport, and Wheatland-Chili school districts.
The proposed $29-million project is the first of its kind for Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES in its nearly 60-year history. The project work will improve building infrastructure, upgrade technology in classrooms to support quality instruction aligned to career preparation for students, accommodate student enrollment increases and continuing program expansion, increase capacity for professional development, improve security measures, reconfigure traffic flow on the BOCES campus and increase parking capacity.
The Capital Project Vote will be held on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Room #2 at the Educational Services Center, 3599 Big Ridge Road, Spencerport, NY 14559. Anyone 18 or older who is a United States citizen living in the Brockport, Churchville-Chili, Gates Chili, Greece, Hilton, Holley, Kendall, Spencerport or Wheatland-Chili school districts for at least 30 days prior to the vote date is eligible to vote. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CHECK IT OUT HERE.
One East Rochester Member's Response to Time's Article
Subject: Re: Time Magazine attacks teachers!
To whom it may concern,
It is extremely upsetting to see the cover of the next issue of Time magazine when it attacks an occupation that is an essential public service that directly impacts the Communities that the individuals are employed in.
Please consider the following:
- Within the past five years there have been a number of teachers that have been killed doing their job in defense of students during school shootings. Would you write and article attacking police officers? Rescue workers?
-Teaching has the lowest pay for the amount of education required and these educators are often swimming in school loans to make, on average$41,000/year. Compare that to the top education system on the planet (Finland) where teacher salaries average around $100,000/year more than in the United States. These are not positions that a person signs on for light-heartedly.
-Your cover is wrong, It is not "nearly impossible" to fire bad teachers. In fact there is, in every district, contract conditions that allow a teacher to be removed. It is the district's choosing whether they wish to exercise these conditions. It is a lengthy process but please consider that a teacher works under state practice that originate from politicians that have not steppped foot in the classroom since they were in high school. They subscribe to practices brought on by private business that claim to have the latest and greatest techniques for education. Common core is a perfect example. Tenure allows a teacher to challenge administration and elected officials without fear of losing their livelihood. Why? Because we are the ones in the classroom spending our time with the children that are data points to everyone else. Including your publication. Besides the apology to teachers, I wish to take this time to ask for you to apologize to every American student for treating them as soulless data while you're at it (The letter continues, use this link to finish reading it.)
Click HERE to read the remainder of the article.
Are You on the Path to Teacher or Teaching Assistant Certification? Do You Have Any Questions? Find the entire informational brochure HERE.
Election Support Needed- Let's Get Out the Vote!!
Come out and help HCSTA make phone calls for local candidates that support our students!! Issues that are vital to our classroom must be corrected and legislators need to make those changes.
Meet us at the Rochester NYSUT offices on Thursday,October 30th from 5-8pm to assist in an important phone drive. You don't need to know details about the issues, scripts are supplied. Please call Virginia Errico-Bourji at ext. 2349 to let her know you intend to help! Wear your HCSTA t-shirt for solidarity!
Get in On the Good Food:
The Good Food Collective is a year-round program providing individuals and families with access to this area's best local, sustainable food. The Good Food Collective is a project of Headwater Foods, a Community Food Enterprise creating a value-filled, year-round supply chain of local, sustainable foods for the greater Rochester area. They are committed to joining with others and working towards a more socially and environmentally just food system and the individual, social, economic and ecological health of our community.
Sales of the Good Food Collective's fall share have been extended until Tuesday! If you have any questions, contact Elizabeth Thornton at Northwood, ext. 4516.
STAND WITH SPENCERPORT
-- STAND UP FOR KIDS--
What is SWS?
Stand With Spencerport (SWS) began when teachers at Cosgrove Middle School in Spencerport, NY, spoke out about the confdentiality agreements they were required to sign by the State Education Department (SED) when administering and scoring the 2014 Grades 3--8 ELA and Math exams. In an April 2014 petition mailed to Governor Cuomo, Commissioner King, Chancellor Tisch, and the Board of Regents, the teachers at Cosgrove voiced their frustrations that the gag-order was absurd, offensive, and misaligned with best teaching practices.
Annual testing in ELA and Math for students in Grades 3--8 is nothing new... However, in the past, educators could use state exams to inform and improve district curriculum and classroom instruction. In 2014, teachers and administrators were required to sign confidentiality agreements barring them from discussing anything about the assessments with their colleagues, with students, or with parents. Here is a summary:
- Students in third through eighth grade sat for six days of testing- three days in ELA and three days in math.
- Districts hired substitute teachers while classroom teachers spent several days scoring each exam.
- Educators who discussed anything- questions, student responses, rubrics, etc. -- would be violating a policy that threatened to revoke their teaching license in NYS.
Are SWS Educators Against Testing?
Absolutely not. As educators, we rely on assessments to tell us what our students know and what they are able to do. Teachers use assessment results to plan and guide our instruction. Principals use assessment results to determine overall areas of success and weakness. Administered and scored under a gag-order, the 2014 Math and ELA exams do not fulfill any of the above purposes of assessment.
Visit their website to learn more!
Union Members Make a Difference!!
Join fellow members for a labor walk out of Ted O'Brien's house:
120 Thurlow Avenue, Rochester, NY 14609
Saturdays at 9:30 am
- October 4
- October 18
- October 25
- November 1
Find out more about Ted O'Brien's platform in the Elections file under important documents.
This is a very tough race and HCSTA needs you to support Ted!
A MOOT COURT HEARING (and public discussion)
"Is the Common Core Good for Public Schools?"
Tuesday September 23, 7:00 pm, East High School Forum Room
FREE & Open to the public!
Part of "A Community-Wide Discussion of Issues in Public Education" Project sponsored in part by Writers & Books, University of Roichester, Roberts Wesleyan College, Nazareth College, Rochester Teachers Association and Coalition for Justice in Education.
A wide variety of key education figures in the Rochester area will be present.
Making Strides Volunteers Needed!
Join fellow NYSUT members in the fight against breast cancer on Sunday, Oct 19th, 10 at Frontier Field! Just a few hours of your time will make a big difference! See Martha Burke at the high school for further details or visit the Hilton Team (Hilton Central TA) website to donate!!
Who Do We Endorse?? NYSUT Supports:
Governor- No endorsement!!! (NYSUT and NYS AFL-CIO)
**Comptroller- Thomas DiNapoli (D-WR-I) Incumbent
** Attorney General- Eric Schneiderman (D-WF-I) Incumbent
SD 54 Michael Nozzolio (R-C-I)
SD 55 Ted O'Brien (D-WF) Incumbent
SD 56 Joseph Robach (R-C-I)
SD 57 Catherine Young (R-C-I)
SD 58 Thomas O'Mara (R-C-I)
SD 59 no endorsement
SD 61 Elaine Altman (D-WF)
SD 62 Johnny Destino (D)
AD 130 Bob Oaks (R)
AD 131 Brian Kolb (R-C)
AD 132 Phillip Palmesano (R-C-I)
AD 133 No endorsement
AD 134 No endorsement
AD 135 Mark Johns (R-WF-C) Incumbent
AD 136 Joseph Morelle (D-I)
AD 137 No endorsement
AD 138 Harry Bronson (D-WF-I) Incumbent
CD 23 Martha Robertson (D-WF)
CD 24 Dan Maffei, Incumbent
CD 25 Louise Slaughter, Incumbent
CD 27 No endorsement