Expanded Calendar with staff return dates:
This is from Senator on John Liu on Twitter:
We understand it is a two-year extension. This is from Chalkbeat's Reema Amin and reporter Zack Fink on Twitter:
We read most of the text of the companion lower class size bill. It is actual class sizes of 20 for K-3, 23 for 4-8, and 25 for the high schools except for music and physical education which would be 40. The class size plan has to be for now and must be fully implemented by 2027. You can read some of the bill text yourself if you are looking for loopholes.
In a city school district in a city having a population of
29 one million or more inhabitants such contract shall also include a plan,
30 which shall be developed in collaboration with the collective bargaining
31 units representing teachers and the principals and signed off on by the
32 chancellor and the presidents of each bargaining unit, to reduce [aver-
33 age] actual class sizes, [as defined by the commissioner, within five
34 years for the following grade ranges: (A) pre-kindergarten-third grade]
35 beginning September two thousand twenty-two and to be achieved by
36 September two thousand twenty-seven for all classes, with the exception
37 of physical education and performing groups, as follows: (1) kindergar-
38 ten-third grade to have no more than twenty students per class; [(B)]
39 (2) fourth-eighth grade to have no more than twenty-three students per
40 class; and [(C)] (3) high school to have no more than twenty-five
41 students per class. [Such] Physical education and performing groups
42 shall have no more than forty students per class at all levels. Each
43 year of the plan, an additional twenty percent of the classrooms in the
44 city school district, excluding special education classes, shall be in
45 compliance with the class size targets such that the city school
46 district is in full compliance by two thousand twenty-seven and all
47 classes should maintain the target class size. The class size reduction
48 plan shall prioritize schools serving populations with higher poverty
50 (B) The class size reduction plan shall include [class size reduction
51 for low performing and overcrowded schools and also] any exemptions to
52 the class size targets. These exemptions shall be limited to: (1) space;
53 (2) over-enrolled students; (3) license area shortages; and (4) severe
54 economic distress. Any such exemptions shall be approved by the chancel-
55 lor and the presidents of the collective bargaining units representing
56 the teachers and the principals as part of the class size reduction
A. 10498 5
1 plan. Should the chancellor and the presidents of the collective
2 bargaining units representing the teachers and the principals be unable
3 to reach agreement on the exemptions after thirty days, the issue shall
4 be determined by an arbitrator. In addition, any exemption based on
5 available space shall include a reference to the capital budget to
6 demonstrate that the budget is aligned with resolving the exemption
7 status. Exempted classes, for the years in which they are exempt, and
8 special education classes shall not count toward the twenty percent
10 (C) The class size reduction plan shall also include the methods to be
11 used to achieve [such] the class [sizes] size targets, such as the
12 creation or construction of more classrooms and school buildings, the
13 placement of more than one teacher in a classroom or methods to other-
14 wise reduce the student to teacher ratio[; provided, however, that
15 notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the sole
16 and exclusive remedy for a violation of the requirements of this para-
17 graph shall be pursuant to a petition to the commissioner under subdivi-
18 sion seven of section three hundred ten of this title, and the decision
19 of the commissioner on such petition shall be final and unreviewable],
20 but only as a temporary measure until more classrooms are made available
21 in conformance with the plan. For elective and specialty classes, the
22 collective bargaining unit representing teachers may negotiate class
23 sizes higher than the targets if such increase is approved by a majority
24 of the staff in the school.
We have had 20 years of mayoral control of NYC schools. It is up for renewal with the State Legislature this week. My position is to just let it sunset and revert to the 1996 school governance law that had a seven-member Board of Education. Two of the seven were appointed by the mayor and five by the borough presidents. The 1996 law took hiring power away from the community school boards.
This should be an interim governing body until a task force can make recommendations for a permanent governance system that puts the public back into public education. We need more accountability than a mayoral election every four years.
Mayor Eric Adams and Chancellor David Banks cannot even get a 2022-23 school calendar out in a timely way. Their main argument for holding onto power is their identity.
Tom Sheppard is a parent member of the Panel for Educational Policy. He took to Twitter to call mayoral control a failure:
I believe the 1996 law and maybe the current one require school funding to be at least the same percentage of the city budget as the last three years. Let's all look at the old Stavisky Goodman law. Killing mayoral control will not lead to huge education budget cuts unless everything else is slashed.
I have emailed my Senator, John Liu, twice and called his office to lobby against mayoral control. No reply.
I have read the multiple in-depth pieces analyzing the 2022 UFT election from Jonathan Halabi over at JD2718 and Norm Scott at EdNotes. Jonathan looks at the results from a number of different angles. Low turnout is a problem for sure but I would argue that United for Change did significantly better than the divided 2019 opposition to Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus. That is the main message I took from this election. As such, the opposition deserves more of a say in how the UFT is run and should push for it in a non-stop campaign.
Here is a quick summary from one of Jonathan's insightful pieces:
Unity won 66% of the total vote, just shy of two-thirds, and 58% among teachers. Those are, for Unity, not good numbers, maybe horrible numbers – the lowest since I’ve been paying attention, probably the lowest since the first decade of the UFT, and maybe the lowest in the history of the UFT. But Unity also breathed a sigh of relief – sure they lost the high schools, but they have lost the high schools many times before – and they avoided losing anywhere else.
Jonathan and Norm analyze in great detail the very poor turnouts in the UFT elections among active members. Norm notes that the majority of the voters are retirees. Jonathan explains in simple terms how low the turnout actually was among in-service teachers:
With 79.5% of teachers not voting, I’m not sure that congratulations are in order for any of us. Unity won among teachers 11.88% to 8.65% for United for Change. Out of every 34 voters, 4 chose Unity, 3 chose United for Change. 27 did not vote. (numbers do not include D75 teachers – but those numbers should be similar) that even where the opposition does well in the high schools, it is still only a small minority of eligible voters who make up our majority in the high schools.
I believe a large part of the low turnout can be explained by the three fundamental questions of politics that must be answered yes by voters for a candidate or political party to get votes:
1. Do they know you?
2. Do they like you?
3. Do they trust you?
The opposition in the UFT doesn't get beyond question 1 while Mulgrew-Unity can't get past questions 2 and 3. Very few like or trust Mulgrew and with good reasons (another post) but those potential voters don't know or care enough about United for Change or our candidates so they throw the ballot out. The garbage can vote won.
Unlike others, I don't think that necessarily means overwhelming apathy toward the UFT. When we have a contract, the turnout will be huge in the ratification vote. Voting in the schools on actual working conditions, a contract referendum is conducted in schools, will have the effect of energizing members to be involved in the Union. They will vote.
Let's accept that the case has been made that turnout is way too low in UFT general elections. Among the thousands who do vote, the opposition has a fairly solid base in the high schools. Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus has not won a one-on-one Unity vs a united opposition in the high schools since 1993. Unity has won majorities in the high schools after 1993 but only by facing a divided opposition. Considering the opposition's lack of resources and how hard Unity battled for the high schools in this election, it is no small achievement that United for Change won. Unity's campaign included multiple professional leaflets in virtually every high school teacher's mailbox, putting up respected well known candidates for the Executive Board from big schools, and Unity implementing a campaign to silence the opposition at the Delegate Assembly by denying them speaking rights and calling them disrupters for insisting that the rules be followed (this should be challenged at the Department of Labor). It is a significant achievement for United for Change to come together, double the opposition vote totals from 2019, and win back the high schools so there is actual representation on the Executive Board (7 reps out of 102) that doesn't have a Unity Caucus endorsement.
The opposition also has enough of a margin of victory in the high schools so United for Change makes up a majority of not just high school but all secondary school teacher voters.
I copied this chart from Jonathan's blog:
Norm talks about an opposition goal being to win the high schools by enough of a margin to make up for shortfalls in the elementary division but still win the majority of voting teachers. United for Change actually did that to win the secondary schools.
High Schools UFC 2,508 High Schools Unity 1,981
Middle Schools UFC 938 Middle Schools Unity 1,202
Secondary Total UFC 3,446 (52%) Secondary Total Unity 3,183 (48%)
This is the slate votes only. The people who split their ballots wouldn't change that there is a UFC majority. It is a purely symbolic win but a victory nonetheless that the secondary school teachers who vote don't want Unity-Mulgrew. That is now a reality from this election.
In addition, we heard all over the place that Jonathan Halabi should be the Academic High School Vice President, and yours truly should have had the job in 2016 because both Jonathan and I got more high school teacher votes than Janella Hinds. Janella is in office only because Unity changed the rules after they lost a high school vice presidency in 1985 so that even retirees elect high school vice presidents. One of my friends calls it the UFT version of the Electoral College. Note that vice presidents are plural.
Nobody that I know of has yet pointed out that we have a wide enough cushion in the high schools, (12 percentage points) so that we probably have the majority of the teachers in both the Academic High School Division as well as the Career and Technical High School Division. The opposition is now probably being cheated out of not one but two vice presidents.
Leo Gordon is more than likely a Vice President in the Career and Technical Division just like Janella Hinds is in the Academic High School Division who has fewer high school teacher votes than their opponents who "lost".
We will never know if United for Change really won the Career and Technical High School Division but United for Change candidate Eric Severson is most probably the rightful CTEVP and should be credited.
We won't know who obtained the most votes among the CTE teachers who voted because the votes are no longer counted separately. Before 1999, the two divisions, Academic and Vocational (CTE) High Schools, were tallied as different divisions. It wasn't necessary to count separately after the constitutional change made both positions at large (elected by the entire membership as opposed to just the members in a particular division) but the UFT continued counting separately in 1995 and 1997. I remember sitting at the vote count in 1997 being oh so thrilled that we won the Academic High Schools so I was going to the Executive Board only to be told that they didn't count the Vocational High School (CTE) votes yet so not so fast. When they did count them, the opposition (New Action) easily won the high schools but Unity still had a majority in the vocational schools.
If Unity still has a majority in 2022 in the CTE schools which I doubt, then United for Change beat them handily in the Academic High Schools since we won by 12 points overall. It is more likely that our 12-point overall margin combining the votes of both divisions means we are the majority in both the academic and CTE schools in 2022 but as stated previously, we will never actually know because in 1999 they stopped counting the CTE votes separately.
When the secondary school teachers joined with the Teachers Guild to form the UFT back in 1960, it was agreed that there would be two high school vice presidents so the high schools would be adequately represented. The high schools, I think most of us would agree, are not adequately represented. The fears of founders Roger Parente and Sam Hochberg have been realized. High schools are a marginalized group that the Union frequently ignores (see higher class sizes, closing schools, unsafe schools, etc). My guess is that elementary school teachers and non-regular teachers in the UFT (functionals) have their own complaints about being ignored. However, I don't know if they can complain about their lack of representation the same way high school teachers can legitimately argue that they are underrepresented.
High school and middle school activists need to keep pushing for change in the Union. Having 7 seats on a 102-seat Executive Board is not enough. The opposition should be showing UFTers and the world how the UFT playing field is tilted in Unity's favor and we are no longer going to accept business as usual in how the UFT operates.
President Michael Mulgrew's report
Rashid Mathis who does the voice for our meetings passed away suddenly at the age of 41. He helped with the town halls and hybrid Delegate Assemblies. Moment of silence.
California, Buffalo and Texas shootings. What will it take to stand up to the gun lobby? Teachers again wrapping themselves around their students to save them. Schools with shootings around them in NYC. Three murdered in Buffalo were NYSUT members. We will always be at the center at what is happening in society because of where we work at schools. Another moment of silence for victims who lost their lives in a tragic way in Buffalo, California, and Texas.
Nationally gun violence and a women's right to choose are the big issues.
Mayoral control is in the balance in Albany. We had a series of mayors who were at war with the Board of Education, the governing body. Mayors were at war with Boards of Education and mayors kept cutting Board of Ed budgets. Mayors understand budgets now under mayoral control. We cannot have a policy where the mayor can announce whatever he wants whenever he wants. Budget system under the old system was starving the schools. Other cities have a check and a balance. We are also lobbying in Albany to lower the class sizes in NYC. That is what is under discussion. States also trying to get ahead of what looks like a bad decision from the Supreme Court on abortion. Legislative session over next Wednesday or Thursday. May be extended. We have math on our side on class size. Many schools have plenty of space. Now we have 820,000 students. The average class size is lower than it has been since Mulgrew was here. $5 billion not spent. Getting an additional $1.3 billion from C4E money. 20 children is the right number for k-2. 32 in a class is insane. Should we be paying for smaller class sizes? Does any other agency pay for their working conditions? Do police officers pay for their guns? Do firefighters pay for air conditioning in firehouses? Do sanitation people pay for their gas? Social-emotional support comes from lower class sizes. Higher quality of interaction comes with lower class sizes. DOE will continue to lie about lower class sizes. DOE lies and cheats about educating the children of NYC. City says lower class size will bankrupt the city. In the proposed budget, the city is forcing schools to increase class sizes. They cut budgets. Principals will be told to maximize class sizes when they get their budgets. Post photos at UFTphotos@gmail.com. Why are NYC class sizes 15-30% higher than the rest of the state? DOE doesn't want to lower class sizes because they can't expand their bureaucracy.
The superintendent hiring process has started. It has turned into a competition. Since there is parental input, candidates talking to parents. This is now a competition and not about who is the best person to be a superintendent. We are glad they got rid of executive superintendents. We do not need bigger bureaucracies. c37 starts next week. Participate and have some fun. Push candidates who will work with us to support schools. We don't need candidates who call legal after you say good morning for them. Our first-year Chapter Leaders are really in year 3.
Calendar not out yet. Told it was coming out weeks ago. Two days ago we were told it will be out today. This morning they said this afternoon. They said this afternoon it will be tomorrow. This is insane. We are consulted but it is up to the DOE. We need to do SBO's. They are looking for guarantees from the state. Hundreds of other districts have calendars out. We agreed to the calendar they sent up to the state. It is supposed to be out tomorrow. Principals don't know what is up with things like excessing. DOE has federal money.
June 9 PD day is coming. In consultation, three months ago we were told by the administration to look at Principal's Weekly that June 9 would be handled like Election Day: remote unless people out of necessity had to be in the building. The DOE didn't get information out until recently. DOE must inform members by this Friday if members have to come in live. If you disagree, get in touch with the UFT immediately. June 28 last day on a Monday. It happens every few years. June 28 should be a virtual day. DOE principals have until June 14 to tell us if we have to come in live. Have that conversation.
US History Regents canceled. Children will get credit if they pass the class.
District lines redrawn in NYS. Primary for governor and assembly in June.
Primary for congress and state senate in last week of August. Multiple UFT endorsed candidates in same districts. Others have no endorsement. Speaking to NYSUT President Andy Pallotta on a process. Does anyone want to redo the process? We've already interviewed candidates. New district is 10th district that is lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Many people running. We will interview everyone for this one. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler running against each other. Want to have a process we can move forward with. Last week in August means probably around a 5% turnout. "The rent is too high" guy may be running and could do well.
Vacation days cannot be denied because it is June.
Go back to September, think about December where Covid numbers were through the roof. January was the worst month of the worst school year ever. It's been a long road to get to the week before Memorial Day. Two waves this year. Hospitalizations have stayed down unlike in other parts of the country that are not as vaccinated. Thanks Delegates and God Bless.
Report over at 4:57 pm.
Staff Director's Report
Puerto Rican Day Parade June 12, Pride march, 5K run, Daniel Drumm Scholarship for LGBTQ students. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Shanker Scholarship hybrid, will be on June 7. We gave up $1 million of our money for scholarships for students. Secretaries have something. Negotiating Committee meeting June 15.
Mulgrew back: Met with VP of the Ukranian Teachers Association. Terrible stories. 90% of teachers refuse to leave. Teaching virtually when not fighting.
Question: What actions can we take to show solidarity with Texas and other gun shooting victims?
Mulgrew Answer: We are talking about massive union rallies, maybe in NYC or DC. We are dealing with crazy stuff in NYC. We want to move quickly on this. We are talking to friends in Texas. NRA convention is in Houston. Mothers are the strongest advocates. We are in a battle with gun lobbyists. Majority of NRA members say nobody needs these rifles. Gun manufacturers threaten to spend money against politicians who oppose them. Gun violence is going up. City is infiltrated with guns.
Question: Mayor talking about extending school day, is that going to happen?
Answer: No. We have schools that can extend days by having voluntary Saturday programs. First question is why. Finland has the best or second best school system in the world and they have a shorter school day. What are you going to do with the time? Teachers will work a 70-hour week voluntarily but if you mandate an extra 20 minutes, they will lose their crap. We need screening but most teachers are not reading teachers. Mayor wants to fix things but he will not be at the table when we try to get things done. Why are we doing the DESA stuff next week? Every school identified children who needed outside help. Help never happened.
Brian from UFT asked to be the voice for now for online Delegate for the rest of this school year.
Question: June 28, uptick in Covid and multiple sights, we don't want to be together.
Answer: Email Leroy Barr and someone else.
Question: Problems with DOE email. Have to put in a code in the phone. I don't have a DOE phone.
Answer: Official response is we don't have DOE phones so they cannot ask us to use personal phones for DOE business. DOE getting hacked so they put in a double identification system but DOE doesn't pay for our phones. If they want double authentication, they have to pay for our devices or give us a stipend for using them.
Question: D79 superintendent in Manhattan being forced out. He works well with union and students. What can we do to keep him around?
Answer: Working well with the union means the person is a problem solver, not that he is in the tank with the union. This superintendent has tried to solve the problems. I don't know what his relationship is with others in power now. We are advocating from our side. This is a superintendent who has risen above.
Move resolution on Asian American curriculum from 11 to 1 because it is Asian American Pacific Islander month.
Press A to thank Rashid for all the work he has done for us or press 1 on the phone.
734 +176 live vote to thank him.
Back to motion on the Asian American curriculum moving from 11-1
693 yes on phone to 44. Live 176-3. 95% yes so it moves to number 1.
Mike Sill moves to move a new resolution as number 2
Resolved that the UFT condemns the mass shootings and demands as safe environment and more funding for trained professionals and to wear black on Friday for victims of gun violence and wear orange next Friday and support Governor Hochul for a ban on assault weapons and will work with AFT.
717 Yes to 24 No on phone; 177 yes and 4 No live= 97%
Special Orders of Business
Asian American curriculum resolution. Hate crimes up against Asian Americans. API need to be included.
A second person speaks in favor. Asians make up almost 20% of students but less than 10% of teachers. Vote in favor this is necessary.
Another Delegate moves to call the question. Mulgrew asks if there is a speaker against. There isn't.
613 Yes to 21 No on ending debate on the phone. 172-1 to close debate live.
Resolution on curriculum: Phone 609 Yes to 26 No on phone. 182 Yes to 0 No live.
Resolution to stand against gun violence.
Mike Sill motivates the resolution on supporting the victims of gun violence. Says he is tired of the violence and nothing getting done. Power has to rest with the people if legislatures won't get this done.
Another Delegate gets up in support. Didn't think Sandy Hook would be the new normal. Gives numbers of mass shootings. Shocking that the legislatures can't pass reasonable gun laws. Guns are top cause of death of children. Done with thoughts and prayers.
Motion to amend: Add a resolved that UFT and AFT take steps to divest from companies that sell assault rifles. Mulgrew asks for trustees to confirm that we have already divested. We did that after Sandy Hook. (Trustees confirm that we are divested and were the first pension system to do it.)
Tom Murphy Retired Teacher Chapter Leader then speaks in favor.
Someone calls the question. Nobody wants to speak against.
595 Yes to 18 No on phone; 151 Yes to 0 No live on closing debate.
On resolution it is 609 Yes to 8 No on phone; 159 Yes to 1 No in the room.
Decorum resolution: Congratulates Mulgrew on winning.
Mulgrew thanks everyone who ran.
Debate decorum resolution:
We are professionals, we must debate our differences but be respectful. Youth will suffer if we don't do this.
Another Delegate supports it. Civil discourse welcome but we should as RBG said we should disagree without being disagreeable.
A third Delegate talks about civil discourse. Says this year was a disaster.
Motion to amend:
Olivia Swisher adds three resolved
1-Chair will adhere to calling alternate sides.
2-Reports shouldn't take more time than deliberations.
3- Joint Subcommittee should be formed to discuss restructuring procedures and bylaws.
Leroy Barr rises in opposition to amendments. We have rules and customs. Robert's Rules do not call for alternating sides. We can't put a limit on reports. Information from reports are critical. Thankful for reports.
High School Delegate talks about increasing democracy. This debate is healthy. He supports the amendments to push us in an even more democratic way.
Question called on all matters.
On the phone, 567 vote Yes to close debate to 53 voting No. Live I couldn't hear numbers.
On the 3 amendments:
Yes 287 to No 293 on phone 30 Yes to over 100 No in room (sorry, I didn't get actual number)
On the original resolution: 436 Yes to 105 No on phone; 140 Yes to 15 No live.
Mulgrew tells all to enjoy Memorial Day.
Nick Bacon who is a newly elected High School Executive Board member has this quick commentary in the DAover at the New Action blog:
Commentary and Notes Delegate Assembly, 5-25-2022
Posted by baconuft
Short Version: Though there were some decent resolutions passed on Asian American curriculum and gun control, from an opposition perspective, this was a very disappointing May Delegate Assembly. The reports lasted until 5:00. There was no attention to critical subjects like the impending MOSL nightmare and our APPR mess, for which Mulgrew has suggested previously that he has only made tepid responses that will be unlikely to work. While Olivia Swisher was called on to speak during the question period, no opposition delegate was called on to raise a motion during the new motions period. Remember: we haven’t been called on since November. Then, the decorum resolution was rushed through. Three resolves that UFC put into one amendment, despite popularity over the phone, failed to pass after a one-sided (Unity-friendly) debate on the resolution itself, and only two speakers being allowed to debate the amendment – one of which was LeRoy Barr (President of Unity Caucus). I was ready to speak to this amendment on the phone, but Rashad Brown called the question after only one opposition speaker – Ryan Bruckenthal – got a chance to speak.
If this is how UFT plans to handle future delegate assemblies, the message isn’t ‘unity,’ as they’ve been pretending (little ‘u’), it’s ‘Unity’ with a big U.
The Professional Staff Congress is the union for CUNY professors and others including me at my current job. This resolution that passed unanimously at the PSC Delegate Assembly opposing privatizing Medicare needs to be endorsed by the rank and file of every city union.
This is from the NYSUT Weekly Update. If 50 is the new 65 on Regents Exams, why require these exams at all? Do teachers get MOSL credit for student grades of 50 and above?
In a year fraught with learning disruptions, the Board of Regents this week approved a special appeals process to allow students to graduate with a lower score on Regents exams. The reprieve would apply to students who pass the Regents course and score a 50–64 on a Regents exam in the 2021–22 and 2022–23 school years. Appeals can be filed by a student, parent/guardian, teacher, school counselor or the department chairperson. Here are SED's FAQ, memo and application form.
It appears right now that Albany won't be coming to the rescue of NYC public school students and their teachers Instead, expect maybe some tiny tweaks in mayoral control with the extension being rubber approved by the Legislaturre and governor. This is from the NY Post:
Team Adams’ full-court press in Albany for city priorities was received well by pols, after critics slammed City Hall for perpetuating a dysfunctional and ineffective lobbying effort in the halls of the state Capitol.
“It was really a good move for him to come to Albany,” admitted New York City Education Chairman John Liu – who criticized Adams back in March after the mayor hastily exited a legislative hearing on education.
“He directly answered a lot of the legislators’ questions and responded to concerns because a lot of them haven’t heard directly from him on this issue. So I think that instilled a lot of confidence.”
“I think it will be renewed. We’re not we’re not going back to the system of local school boards 20 years ago. But is it going to be extended for four years with no changes? No, That’s not likely either,” he added.
The measures presently up for debate as negotiations continue include:
Granting Adams between a one- to four-year extension of mayoral control of schools
Term limits for appointees to the Dept. of Education’s governing body, the Panel for Education Policy
More parental involvement in school control on a community basis
Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman (D-Queens) – who partook in an over an hour-long forum with members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus – noted the timeframe is still up for debate.
“There isn’t a consensus, it depends on which member you ask of New York City where they stand. I think there is more of a consensus to continue. However, the time limits – whether it be two year, three year, four years – I think that’s what’s been contested right now,” she said.
I messaged Senator John Liu (my district's senator) the other day expressing my hope that mayoral control might expire. You can see by this Post piece what tremendous influence I have on the Legislature. I recommend that our readers take some time and call or email your local Assemblymember or Senator and urge them to not renew mayoral control. It might not help but what have you got to lose by doing the right thing?
You can find your Senator here.
The Eric Adams-David Banks regime is not off to a very good start on mayoral control of the schools that is up for renewal next month or it will sunset.
This is from the Queens Chronicle on the DOE reaction to a community protest to stop the removal of the District 30 Superintendent from the rehiring process:
A decision by the Department of Education to fire the superintendent of District 30, a 40-year veteran of the school system, which it has since rolled back, shocked many elected officials and community members. It has them questioning the extension of mayoral control of the city’s public schools, on which a verdict is expected in less than two weeks.
“The city is making its best argument against itself by doing what it's doing here, completely disregarding the community in its interests, not giving any reason or rationale for what it's doing, and scaring a lot of parents who want to make sure that kids are going to get a good education,” said State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) at a rally on Friday at PS 171 in support of Dr. Philip Composto.
When asked by the Chronicle how he would vote on mayoral control, Gianaris said, “I think it depends what we’re voting on. I would not vote to continue it as is.”
What I do not comprehend is why the Assembly and Senate are so afraid to return to the 1996 law which had a Board of Education that consisted of two mayoral appointments and five from the borough presidents.
In the 1996 law, the power to hire superintendents was taken from the community school boards and given to the Chancellor so the Mayor and Chancellor would have to find two borough presidents to support their policies or they would lose their control of the schools. It was real checks and balances. We would not be going back to the days when corrupt school boards hired superintendents. That is a myth.
The Chronicle piece makes you kind of wonder about the competence of the Banks team:
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Long Island City), former chair of the Committee on Education, took it personally that Banks has not returned her calls on the matter.
"I'm livid," she said at the rally. “I've known David Banks a very long time, and I've been asking for a phone call back for, like, three days … It's not right. It's not respectful. I'm not a diva. I know he's a busy man. It's outrageous that they haven't spoken to us, and I'm deeply hurt about it.”
She continued, “You have to wonder what went on if they can't even return a phone call … That's not what mayoral control was meant to be. Mayoral control is not imperial control.”
Ticking off the people who have to vote on renewing mayoral control might not be a very smart tactic. Former Mayor Bloomberg could buy the Legislature off. I don't think Adams-Banks have that kind of money. Then again, maybe the UFT steps in to save mayoral control.
We'll see where it goes.
If you are anywhere near a radio, smart phone, or computer today at 1:00 PM, please tune in or log on to WBAI for Talk out of School. Middle school teacher Daniel Alicea will be hosting. It should be compelling radio.
Update: You can listen to the archive version here.
Our seven winning High School Executive Board candidates will be on. Daniel will also feature our Academic High School VP candidate Jonathan Halabi, who got the most high school teacher votes, but didn't win because Unity tilts the playing field in their favor for the election.
Norm Scott goes into some detail on our Magnificent 7 Executive Board reps who will be taking office soon.
From the NYSUT Weekly Update:
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.
“As we come to the end of another school year that has been anything but normal, we welcome the governor’s decision to suspend the APPR process for another year,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “We will continue working with the legislature and the governor to address the APPR process.”
Will NYC opt out of this state law with the UFT's approval? President Michael Mulgrew claims he signed a waiver request so why did this victory statement come from NYSUT but there's nothing from the UFT? Stay tuned.
This is from United for Change and Jonathan Halabi. It isn't official yet but we can pretty much figure these results won't change. Mulgrew wins but the opposition to my knowledge has never broken a third of the vote in what is a tilted playing field in UFT elections. United for Change will have representation on the UFT Executive Board as we won the high schools.
Totals: Remember retiree votes are capped at 23,500 so since 27,000 voted (more than half of the electorate), they are listed as a fraction.
United For Change - 15,094.15 (33.65%)
Unity - 29,761.64 (66.35%)
United for Change - 6837.15 (29.20%)
Unity - 16,580.64 (70.8%)
United for Change - 2508 (55.87%)
Unity - 1981 - (44.13%)
There were 293 who split their ballot and voted for individual candidates.
United for Change - 938 (43.83%)
Unity - 1202-(56.17%)
There were 157 split ballots
United for Change- 2321 (32.1%)
Unity - 4728 (67.9%)
449 split their ballot.
United for Change - 2490 (32.1)
Unity - 5270 (67.9%)
1109 split their ballots
Our reports from inside the UFT election count say that the turnout was light. There are a little less than 200,000 UFT ballots that were mailed out to UFTers. Here are some preliminary numbers on turnout which will probably end up a little higher:
Elementary Schools: 7,198
Middle Schools: 2,203
High Schools: 4,543
Elementary Division - 7,498
Middle School Division - 2,287
High School Division - 4,782
Functional Division - 8,869
Retiree Division - 27,451
Total Ballots Received - 50,900
We will update the numbers when we have them. We have also heard that scanners are breaking down often and that the Retirees are being counted first.
This is from NYSUT:
Thanks to your advocacy, the Assembly this week passed the bill to suspend, for an additional year, the Annual Professional Performance Review process. The bill previously passed in the state Senate and will move to the governor’s desk where Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature would enact it. Just last week, NYSUT members ran a successful advocacy campaign through the Member Action Center to encourage members of the Assembly to act on this crucial legislation.
The deadline to receive ballots is May 9 at the American ArbitrationAssociation. The time to make sure every UFTer you know voted is now. Please send your ballot in and make sure your colleagues voted too.
Yvonne Reason is a United for Change Middle School Executive Board candidate.
I am making yet another pitch for UFTers to vote in the UFT election. Now is the time to complete and send in the ballot. If you want to democratize the UFT, vote for the United for Change slate. It will be the same old Michael Mulgrew-Unity concessions unless you and your colleagues vote for a better Union by casting ballots for United for Change. Mulgrew has already tipped his hand that healthcare concessions are coming. We collectively have the power to stop him but you must act now.
If you have a ballot sitting at home, it must be received by May 9 at the American Arbitration Association. Please fill it out and mail it back today. An X in the United for Change box is all you have to write. Then put the ballot in the secret ballot envelope. Next, place it in the postage paid envelope, and put it in a mailbox.
Watch our how to vote video that our daughter Kara directed if you need a lighthearted how to vote message. You can also see our experienced presidential candidate, Camille Eterno, featured back in 2005 on channel 7 opposing that terrible contract.
Please ask your colleagues if they have voted and encourage them to vote and send the ballot in.
This is from UFT Solidarity, one of the United for Change groups: