Sunday, April 17, 2016

MULGREW DECLARES INCREASE IN CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDING ANOTHER GREAT UFT VICTORY

This is directly from the Minutes of the last UFT Executive Board meeting held on April 4, 2016. This section of President Michael Mulgrew's report concerns an increase in funding for charter schools in the NYS budget. According to the President, charter schools getting more funding was a huge win for the UFT.

The only increase for charter schools came directly from the pot of money Senate Republicans are allowed to spend.   It did not come out of the city’s funding or education.  That was a huge victory for us.  Initially the charter schools were declaring victory until they realized that all they got was money from the pocket of Senate Republicans to pay for their increase.  We represent close to over 2 dozen unionized charter schools that get caught in the middle of all of this.  There was actually a proposal that said these chains can take over the schools we have unionized.  Some of the charter schools have become more and more outspoken against these chains.  In terms of the Republicans we will make sure all their constituents know that they took their own money and gave it to charter schools they don’t represent and didn’t give it to children in their own districts.

Am I to understand that if charter schools get more funding and it comes at the expense of public schools outside of New York City then it is a big victory for the UFT? Maybe I am missing something here.

No mention from our leader that in the state budget funding for NYC public schools came in about $3 billion short of what the state owes us for about a decade. Here is the last paragraph of our state budget report from April 2:

On funding, Chalkbeat NY says schools will get around a $1.5 billion increase from Albany but they also point out that the state owes $4.4 billion according to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit settlement. By my math they are roughly $3 billion short. The Gap Elimination Adjustment is gone but should have gone years ago.  In addition, at the last minute a huge increase in charter school funding was inserted in the budget. Even Cuomo apologist Andy Pallotta from NYSUT was unhappy calling it a "radical last-minute change" according to Chalkbeat.

Add to the funding shortage that there were no changes to Cuomo's abominable Education Transformation Act of 2015 so test and punish education is alive and well in New York State. Teachers will still be rated on student test scores and schools will be placed into receivership where they can be taken over by the state and teachers dismissed based on the results on tests not designed to rate teachers or schools. The State Education Department is now trying to figure out which different unreliable tests to use to rate teachers if they can't use the Common Core tests for three more years. AP and SAT exams were not constructed for teacher evaluations as far as I know but they are being considered.

These inconvenient little facts are not part of Mulgrew's report because remember the UFT never loses. Only the members suffer defeat after defeat after defeat under Mulgrew/Unity. Ask anyone who works in a school and isn't on the UFT gravy train if conditions in the schools are improving. The best way to respond right now is to spread the word and then vote for MORE-NEW ACTION in the UFT election in May.

16 comments:

Marilyn E. Beckford said...

Hi. You seem to have forgotten the de facto loss of tenure if it ever really existed. Starting in September of 2016 any teacher with a permanent license before 2004 will have to show proof of 100 hours of PD every 5 years to keep their license and hence keep their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Marilyn,
Don't those Monday torture sessions count? That's an automatic 40 plus a year. Also those marathon sessions of BS the days right after Labor Day. Almost everyone who has a permanent license before 2004 is now an ATR. How do we show proof? I always sign in. This seems like another weapon against veteran teachers.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting tidbit. Some of the folks working at the UFT also work in charter schools. This hit me like a ton of bricks. Read between the lines. The charter schools are taking over the public schools with the approval and help of the UFT.

Anonymous said...

Hi James...is this true (I am hearing conflicting answers):Starting in September of 2016, any teacher with a permanent license before 2004 will have to show proof of 100 hours of PD every 5 years to keep their license and hence keep their jobs.


THANKS AGAIN

Anonymous said...

MORE/New Action has my vote!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's one, at least.

Anonymous said...

Marilyn:
regulations for PD hours will go into effect next school year.
1. They will require holders of permanent teaching certificates (those certified before 2004) to register with the State Education Department.
2. Professional and Level III teaching certificate holders will be required to complete and show proof of 100 hours of professional development every five years.

It sounds like two different rules or am I reading that wrong?

NYC Educator said...

I think you are reading it correctly. From UFT:

New PD hours for certification to take effect in 2016-17 school year:New regulations for PD hours will go into effect next school year. They will require holders of permanent teaching certificates (those certified before 2004) to register with the State Education Department. Professional and Level III teaching certificate holders will be required to complete and show proof of 100 hours of professional development every five years. More information about the new requirements will be forthcoming. For the 2015–16 school year, state regulations requiring professional certificate holders and Level III teaching assistants to submit proof of completion of professional development hours (175 hours and 75 hours, respectively) remain in place. Anyone who is completing a fifth year of the professional development cycle in June 2016 should submit a completed and signed tracking form to the DOE. You can find the tracking form for teachers and the tracking form for paraprofessionals on the UFT website.

Harris L. said...

James,

On this one I think there's actually some method to Mulgrew's madness.

No one likes the way Albany works but it works a certain way and will continue to work that way until the Democrats control the State Senate--and by enough votes to control it without the so-called "Independent Democratic Caucus."

It is a fact of life that in order to get a budget adopted in NYS while the Republicans and their "Democratic" allies control the State Senate that the Republicans in the State Senate can direct a slush-fund of money however they want to. So, yes, the fact that the charter school funding comes from the "Republican" pot does mean something--it leaves more of the rest of the State budget for other things and establishes, at least for now, no precedent that increases in funding for charter schools can come from other parts of it.

That is "Albany." We may not like it but until six or seven more seats in the State Senate can be won by "real Democrats" it is, for now, the best we can hope for.

And the same thing goes for the awful Transformation Act.

We can, and should, call out these travesties but until the people of the state of New York can be convinced to do something about it there will be no changes. If edu-blogs could fly we'd all have full tenure rights, no HEDI ratings and peace on earth.

JR said...

So, in English, if i started working fulltime before 2004 I dont have to do the PD hours. True?

Anonymous said...

I have to profoundly disagree with Harris. None of this can be blamed on the Republicans. *Cuomo* pushed the ETA, it was *his* bill. In fact, I think there are more Republicans opposed to it then Dems, b/c Repubs come from upstate and LI, where this sh*t don't fly. They hate what he's done to their public schools, and they could give a rip about charters.

I think Harris' comments are usually spot on. But, this one I don't get. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

The PD hours are a give away to Pearson. Through their "America's Choice" division. I believe they will be offering PD at a cost (a significant one). Interestingly, the quality review inspectors from NYSED are pumping the need for the *exact* type of PD that Pearson is offering, "using assessment to adjust instruction." Coincidence? See Arrhur's blog for a description of the PD. But, essentially, the QR people are telling all schools that they need to do a better job of this. The evaluators use they same words at each school.

Additionally, they are reviewing more schools, some that were not slated for a quality review this cycle. The reporters who are so quick to scrutinize every school expenditure ought to be looking into this.

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Anonymous said...

FUCK THIS UNION AND THE DOE AND ALL ITS CORRUPT MINIONS

Anonymous said...

I'm out. I'm applying for jobs in another state. I've been teaching in NYC successfully for well over a decade, but, this is idiotic. My colleagues elsewhere have convinced me it's time. I've loved teaching the students here, but, the last two years have been poison under this system. I know a lot of other people doing the same.

I'm sorry. But, if the families want good teachers, then need parents need to vote for policies which retain us. This gotcha-based system is just too much. Other states don't do this. It's time.

James Eterno said...

I can't argue with any of that unfortunately.