March 22, 2017 is the day for the March edition of the Delegate Assembly. As usual, I apologize for any errors as I am doing this from my smartphone which is often not that smart.
President Michael Mulgrew when I arrived was talking about federal situation. If federal budget bill passes, New York State will be $5.9 billion short. Budget due in Albany by April 1. (Andy Pallotta is at DA and is acknowledged by Mulgrew.) Working with Congressional delegation from NY to influence Congress.
Using 45 (won't say Trump) budget to say we told you so. ESSA regulations gone. ESSA still law. Not changing law. New Title 1 money billion dollar voucher program. Title 2a (professional development, after school programs, etc...) gone. Meals on Wheels cut out of budget. Told Albany public education cuts coming. Republicans in Albany want pro charter bill. Federal government destabilizing public education. Albany pols must pick a side. DeVos most well known Education Secretary is rich and incompetent. Enemy is after safety net. Lobby day 800 are coming. Rescheduled from snowstorm. Different world as federal government wants to destroy public education.
Not a contractual provision to not show up on snow day for some people who are not teachers. Some still had to report. Union did not agree with this. Used two snow days this year. One more, end of school year will be extended. Calendar for next year has two snow days built in.
PEP meeting tonight. Renewal schools: a third doing well, a third average and a third struggling. JHS 145: DOE says it's principal's choice on how to spend money. Not acceptable that nothing is being implemented. Banana Kelly, on the other hand, has turned around. Collaboration with leadership and teachers. Fault goes up chain of command from principal, to Superintendent to Chancellor.
Chancellor and Mayor spoke up. ICE said they won't enter NYC schools except for exigent circumstances.
Reaching out to colleagues in other states. 45 pushing tax credits and vouchers all over. People throwing their hands up.
Working with City Council on a number of initiatives.
Other Professional Work
Exception can't be norm for Tuesdays. Complaints must come from schools.
Can't Departmentalize k-3. Grades 4-6 ELA and math is posted position. Preferences go out later. Need SBO for any other departmentalizing.
DOE now approved professional development provider. DOE must submit paperwork in properly to SED to get approval. Monday PD not approved because SED wants to know how Monday PD fits in with CTLE standards. DOE must put together proper paperwork to state.
Staff Directors Report
Leroy Barr gave some dates and also said Delegates should go to PEP to support JHS 145.
What is Randy Asher doing with ATRs?
Mulgrew Answer: We won't sell out Atrs. It would make us at will employees. We are open to proposals to place them.
Q What are we doing to work with other unions on constitutional convention?
A People broke promises and did not get pensions. That is why the provision to protect pensions is in state constitution. Working with state AFLCIO. Large 45 Trump) donor on LI wants convention.
Q Erosion of original Al Shanker view of charters. How can we return to Al's position?
A Al opposed charters after they were mutated into a way to destroy public schools. Vouchers were a reaction to desegregation. Choice is really no choice if trying to destroy public education.
Q Members getting letters that they are in deficit because of lump sum payments? Freaking out.
A Small number of people have issue. Talk to Tom Brown.
Q Paras and teachers do not have time to do after school PD
A We are helping DOE. It is 5 years to get to 100 hours.
New Motion Period
Paul Egan UFT political Director put a motion to help people stay in their homes.
Peter Lamphere tried to get DA to adjourn to go to PEP. It failed.
Special Orders of Business
Endorse Scott Stringer for comptroller.
Endorse Letitia James for public advocate.
Passed just as easily.
Resolution to honor UFT'S 57th birthday.
Passed unanimously. 57 year members stood up.
Resolution to keep grading of Regents in home schools. Let tests, not people move.
Janella Hinds motivated it and then Arthur Goldstein spoke in favor.
Georgia from Bryant spoke against because of pressure from principals on grading.
It passed easily.
Resolution to support immigrant New Yorkers. Marjorie S. tried to amend to make it stronger. Amendment failed and original resolution passed.
Resolution in support of juvenile justice reform easily passed.
Resolution in support of JHS 145.
I tried to make an amendment to call for the UFT to join or initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the school if the PEP closed it but was called out of order.
Mulgrew and I exchanged pleasantries.