UFT President Michael Mulgrew asked delegates at the Delegate Assembly on Jan. 14 to encourage their colleagues to use social media to show how Gov. Cuomo’s proposals on education would be destructive to public schools, educators and students.
The union’s social media campaign is one facet of its all-out effort to educate state legislators, who must act on the governor’s proposal, about what they must do to support and strengthen public schools.
Public opinion is increasingly influenced by what people see on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, Mulgrew said. Political leaders, legislators and policy makers also use social media to gauge what the public is thinking. UFT members need to use it to relay the real successes and challenges for public education, Mulgrew said.
Members can sign up for the new campaign on the UFT’s home page.
“The governor has said over and over that he knows what parents and teachers really want,” Mulgrew said, but Cuomo has not, as far as anyone knows, been in a public school classroom in New York City during his time in office.
So, invite him in, Mulgrew said. Use the hashtag #InviteCuomo on Twitter to ask the governor to visit your school. Say to him: “Do you want to see what the children of New York need? Come to my classroom.’”
Mulgrew asked delegates to also use another hashtag on Twitter, #AllKidsNeed, to educate the governor as well as the public about what students need to thrive.
“All kids need an art program,” Mulgrew said. “All kids need music. All kids need their teachers to be respected.”
For members who don’t yet use Twitter, now is a good time to start, he said.
Mulgrew also encouraged members to “like” the UFT’s page on Facebook in order to receive its posts in their newsfeeds and to comment on the governor’s education proposals.
Through social media, Mulgrew said, UFT members can point out that the governor is ignoring the real issues facing public schools such as lack of funding. Mulgrew noted that the governor does not want to talk about the fact that New York State has one of the widest gaps in school aid between affluent and poor districts.
Instead, he said, Cuomo will push for the same sort of ill-conceived policies that have been tried and have failed elsewhere.
“The rest of the country is moving away from these ideas,” Mulgrew said. “But he wants to scapegoat teachers.”
He said UFT members need to remind the governor that “it’s about the kids, and you’re not going to use kids against us because we’re the ones who actually teach them and protect them every day.”
Delegates at the meeting passed two resolutions. The first was a resolution in response to the tragic deaths of police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos that offers the union’s deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the slain officers. A second resolution calls for New York State to meet its funding obligations to public schools, including paying the $2.5 billion owed to New York City schools under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case.
Join the fight!
The governor ignores the real problems facing our public schools: lack of funding, increasing class sizes, rising child poverty and its ripple effects in the classroom, and the lack of support and respect for the educators who have dedicated their lives to helping children learn and grow. Instead he blames teachers for everything that is wrong. He proposes incentives to recruit “the best and the brightest” while denigrating the profession so no one will want to become a teacher.
Please join this fight for our students and our profession!
Sign up for our new campaign now on the homepage of the UFT website.
Actions you can take now:
- If you haven’t already, “like” the UFT’s Facebook page. Then, share the UFT’s Facebook posts about Cuomo’s agenda with your network of friends and preface them with comments of your own.
- If you haven’t joined Twitter yet, now is the time to sign up! And then follow the UFT on Twitter.
- Use the hashtag #AllKidsNeed on Twitter to highlight the inequities and share your vision for public education.
- Use the hashtag #InviteCuomo on Twitter to invite the governor to visit your classroom and learn what public education is all about.
- Use the search engine on Twitter to search for #InviteCuomo and #AllKidsNeed and then retweet the messages you like.