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Topics in the News:
News | June 12, 2015 >>
The UFT is focusing its efforts on winning the restoration of Teacher’s Choice funding as final negotiations on next year’s city budget get underway.
Testimony | June 9, 2015 >>
UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell testified before the New York City Council Committee on Finance regarding the fiscal year 2016 budet.
News stories | June 4, 2015 >>
City schools are set to get an additional 4 percent, or $845.7 million all told, under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2015-16 spending plan. Now the stage is set for a fight to restore Teacher’s Choice in the final spending plan, which must be approved by the mayor and the City Council by July 1.
With Teacher’s Choice, I purchased Didax algebra tiles to use as manipulatives during my 7th-grade expressions-and-equations unit. The tiles are squares and rectangles of different colors and sizes. The way I used them was to represent variables, which kids typically have a hard time with, because it’s a representation of something that changes.
When I first came to my school, I felt the same way a lot of people do — that students should bring their own supplies. But when you work in an impoverished area, you find that more and more children come to school with nothing — not even a pencil to write with. A lot of these parents are on a month-to-month income, trying to pay the bills; they can’t afford to do school-supply shopping.
I teach students in grades K–5 either once or twice a week; each lesson ends with a lab experiment of some sort. That’s around 17 classes’ worth of experiments a week. So how do I run these labs? With everyday household goods, of course! For example, for a unit on matter, my 1st-graders make a polymer, which is a different kind of matter — not solid, liquid or gas.
Part of our reading unit is about awesome animals and insects. We wanted to explore the metamorphosis stage of butterflies, but the school’s funding couldn’t support us in that so we ordered it on our own using Teacher’s Choice funding. Each kid gets his or her own caterpillar and sees it grow each and every day — they name the caterpillar, they talk to it, they really get to become caregivers.
Salvadori is a program that shows students how art, design, math and science are embedded in the buildings, bridges and landmarks of the city. I do the project as an extension of a social studies unit on China with my 3rd-grade gifted and talented class.
Editorials | June 4, 2015 >>
A high school English teacher in Queens builds a library of graphic novels for his struggling readers. A pre-K teacher in the East Village helps her students care for their own caterpillars as they transform into butterflies. And a 3rd-grade teacher in an impoverished section of the Bronx makes sure every student goes home with a notebook and pencil — because, she says, “It’s a little thing for us to give them those supplies, but for them it’s like the biggest thing in the world.”
President's perspective | June 4, 2015 >>
Although the end is in sight, we still have much to do before the end of the school year and of the legislative session in Albany and the adoption of the final city budget for the next fiscal year.
The state Legislature signed off on a final state budget on March 31 that will deliver an extra $465 million to New York City schools next year, a 6 percent increase that is the largest in eight years.
Now that city and state budgets are back in the black, the City Council should restore funding for Teacher’s Choice, UFT Vice President Evelyn DeJesus told the Council in budget testimony on March 25.
As budget negotiations were going down to the wire in Albany, some 5,000 parents, teachers and students from across the state converged outside Gov. Cuomo’s Midtown Manhattan office for a March 28 rally that marked the culmination of their months-long campaign to stop him from pushing through radical changes to public education policy favored by his Wall Street backers as part of the state budget.
Press releases | March 29, 2015 >>
"The hedge-fund billionaires and Governor Cuomo haven't gotten their way," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew in response to the announcement of a new state budget late on March 29.
Testimony regarding FY 2016 preliminary budget, mayor’s FY ’15 preliminary management report and agency oversight hearings
Testimony | March 25, 2015 >>
UFT Vice President for Education Evelyn DeJesus testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education regarding the FY 2016 preliminary budget, mayor’s FY ’15 preliminary management report and agency oversight hearings.
News | February 9, 2015 >>
More than 100 teachers, parents and guidance counselors gathered at the UFT Bronx borough office on Feb. 6 for a community forum with seven elected officials to send a message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo: All public schools — not just charter schools — deserve fair funding and respect.
News stories | February 5, 2015 >>
In his Jan. 21 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo embraced the corporate reform agenda for education with a vengeance. He called for raising the cap on charter schools, extending tenure from three to five years, putting struggling schools into “receivership” and basing half a teacher’s evaluation on student test scores.
News | February 5, 2015 >>
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education agenda took a solid one-two to the gut, courtesy of two of New York City’s heavy hitters during a joint budget hearing on education in Albany on Feb. 3.
Testimony | February 3, 2015 >>
UFT President Michael Mulgrew testified before the New York State Senate and Assembly Joint Committees on Education and Finance regarding Gov. Cuomo's FY 2015-16 executive budget proposal.
Press releases | January 21, 2015 >>
UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued a statement denouncing the proposed education policy changes in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address.