Julie Woodward wrote a succinct report on the main points of the Delegate Assembly. It is copied below.
Then, everyone needs to head over to Education Notes to read ICE-TJC elementary school VP candidate Yelena Siwinski's commentary on UFT inaction today compared to the days of wine and roses that the UFT will be celebrating this evening at the 50th anniversary bash.
Also, please keep working through Friday to get out those votes. You will be surprised by how many members still have not voted. Word of mouth is our best way of lifting our vote total.
by Julie Woodward
Truman HS Delegate
Today's big message at the DA (and at other UFT meetings, not to mention the Chapter Leaders Weekly) was to get everyone to call or fax state assemblymen and senators regarding the budget cuts. They say we're "faced with staggering cuts to education coming from Albany totaling $1.4 billion to the state, more than $600 million to the city, and an average of more than $11,000 per classroom."
Here's an easy link to an online petition form which when submitted, coughs up another email you can send to others to get them to write in as well. State Assembly 518-455-4100 Look up State Senate 518-455-2800.
Mulgrew announced today, as Weingarten used to, that the union's "core belief and motivation" has always been fighting for children. That's not exactly the position I'm looking for the union to take with my dues money. It's like saying the most important job of the of the police union is to fight for the man on the street, or the teamsters for the companies they service. To me it's a bit disingenuous for a union to adopt a child advocacy stance to further its own agenda, but if you're comfortable pushing that line up at Albany – as Mulgrew is encouraging you to do and which you might want to do if you have kids going to NYC schools – go with it.
An interesting thing Mulgrew told us at the D.A. today was that Albany is telling him they're not doing any more funding for NYC because Klein will waste it all.
He also said that the State Ed Dept is "broke." They eliminated positions by attrition and the offices are empty. Now they want to do away with Regents Exams this year because there's no money for them. Mulgrew advocated to make sure they do process them on the grounds that "you have to have standards." I'm not sure the reasoning behind that. The Regents system has changed a lot since my kids were of college age. At that time they were told that many colleges outside of NYS didn't care if you took a Regents or not. Maybe someone who knows more about the current Regents exams can tell me whether these tests are totally necessary these days.