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News stories | August 6, 2015 >>
More than 250 protesters converged outside the East Hampton beachfront estate of hedge-fund billionaire Dan Loeb on July 11 as those inside dined at a $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
News stories | August 6, 2015 >>
Despite a $13 million advertising campaign, hedge-fund executives were unable to engineer the passage of an education tax credit for wealthy donors or an increase in the statewide charter cap in the state legislative session that wrapped up on June 25.
UFT members who live in New York State and are interested in cutting their electric bills while also helping the environment can participate in a UFT Member Benefits-endorsed solar program.
Teachers may be starting to feel more optimistic and in control of their professional lives following a decade of unrelenting assault under former Mayor Bloomberg, according to the UFT’s second annual survey of the city’s public school teachers.
The final city budget for the coming fiscal year will contain a 62 percent increase in funding for Teacher’s Choice following a big social media and member-lobbying campaign by the UFT to show City Council members the direct impact that Teacher’s Choice has on classroom learning.
With the new time allotted in the UFT-DOE contract for professional development, the staff development committee at P 4, a District 75 school in Queens, seized the opportunity to allow educators to showcase their skills for each other.
This year's Spring Education Conference showcased and celebrated the great work being done by educators throughout the city, with a morning panel and workshops that gave prominent roles to educators who are engaged in the UFT’s Community Learning Schools and the new school-based initiatives that got underway this year.
The dynamism of New York City’s career and technical education high schools was on display at the exhibit hall during the conference. Teachers and students from 25 schools throughout the city shared their passions and projects.
Even as the UFT continues to combat attacks intended to undermine public education, UFT President Michael Mulgrew told delegates that the union must also celebrate the great work that members do in New York City public schools every day.
David Kazansky has been elected as a new trustee on the Teachers’ Retirement System board.
Politics and appreciation were the hot topics at the 52nd annual Retired Teachers Chapter Luncheon at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan, where more than 400 retirees — some veterans of retirement and others just rounding out their first year — gathered on June 1 to honor service and to celebrate friendship and union solidarity.
“Becoming a guidance counselor was the best decision I ever made.” So said Gail Schor, one of 28 guidance counselors honored at the 29th annual School Counselor Recognition Day Awards Ceremony held at Department of Education headquarters on May 27.
Public education advocates on June 17 unfurled a 160-foot-long petition scroll with 30,000 names on the floor of the state Capitol calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to keep the current cap on charter schools in New York City. It was the culmination of the UFT’s Keep Public Education Public campaign to beat back a push by the governor and his allies in the state Senate to increase the number of charter schools in New York City and pass a private school tax credit that would provide a huge tax break to billionaires. On the evening of Monday, June 22, as the New York Teacher went to press, the charter cap and the tax credit were still in play as Cuomo and state lawmakers struggled to reach final agreement on all the outstanding issues before them, including rent regulations.
The UFT and American Federation of Teachers on June 11 announced a $500,000 initiative to expand career and technical education in five cities, including New York, based on a model pioneered here.
Biology fellows (from left) Cody Gordon, Jaginda Lewis and Neeya Byrd were among the nearly 1,000 members from the 2015 cohort of New York City Teaching Fellows who were welcomed to the city’s public school system at a June 12 event at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford joined Chancellor Carmen Fariña and others in giving advice to the new educators. “Teaching is a calling,” Alford said. “Thanks for joining our ranks. From our Albert Shanker College Scholarship Fund, which provides $1 million each year to high school seniors, to assisting teachers in attaining their National Board certification, your union will be with you upholding professionalism and advocating on behalf of our students.”
Educators at the Amber Charter School in East Harlem ratified a new contract by unanimous vote on June 15.
The leadership skills, acuity and tenacity of classroom educators were on display at the Spring Education Conference, where representatives of four teacher-led initiatives took to the stage for a morning panel on New York City Innovations in Education to discuss their work.
Six workshops, including several led by classroom educators, drew many hundreds of UFT members and parents at the Spring Education Conference. Each hour-long workshop addressed aspects of urgent questions and issues in city schools right now.
MaryEllen Elia, who displayed a readiness to work with teachers and their union during her 10 years as school superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida, was the unanimous choice of the state Board of Regents on May 26 to become New York State education commissioner.