Thank you to all the helpers and participants that made our 2017 book drive a tremendous success. The book drive was organized in honor of past PEA president Sonia Basko. Over 1000 books were collected and have been distributed to organizations such as Golisano Children's Hospital and the Habitat Libraries. We received a thank you letter from Golisano Children's Hospital (link)
In the leadup to the midterm elections, pundits predicted a red wave, even a tsunami, based on polls, historical precedent, and steep gas and grocery prices. But I had my doubts. I spent the weeks before the elections talking to voters and traveling on the AFT Votes bus, rolling through a dozen states with more than 50 stops. In a year when kitchen table issues, democracy and our freedoms were on the ballot, many people told me that the elections came down to a choice between, on the one side, election deniers and extremists stoking fear, and on the other, problem-solvers working to help the country move forward. Many races were close, but Americans turned the tide from a red wave to a swell of support for progress and problem-solvers. Read the full column here.
As the landscape of student debt shifts, and more and more opportunities allow borrowers to have their debt relieved, the AFT is using every avenue to ensure that the word is out. In affiliate meetings, telephone town halls, media coverage and social media, the union is spreading the news, and at a student debt clinic at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31, AFT President Randi Weingarten vowed to reach as many people as possible with information that could save them tens—and sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars.
Thank you for all you do!
As the school year draws to a close, all of us at NYSUT want to thank you for your tremendous dedication. It’s been a challenging year — but through it all, you've stood strong and persevered. Over and over, you've shown how public schools are the place where students, parents and educators come together as a community.
Union wins APPR reprieve
Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday signed a bill suspending, for an additional year, the Annual Professional Performance Review process. Advanced through grassroots advocacy from NYSUT members and lobbying by union legislative staff, the bill recently passed both the state Senate and the Assembly.
Take the Pledge now to VOTE May 17!
RA 2022 celebrates 50 years, and plans for future
“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.
AFT President Randi Weingarten today delivered a major address on the crisis hollowing out the teaching profession—massive disinvestment in public education and deprofessionalization. In her speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., she called for reinvestment and freedom to teach. It was followed by two panels featuring education leaders who laid out pragmatic solutions.