From CNYTeacher: Diane Ravitch in Syracuse April 1st.
The grande dame of public education advocates is coming to Syracuse on April 1st, 2014, for the Syracuse University Lecture Series. Spread the word among your education colleagues and concerned parents. The failed policies of NY State Education Commissioner John King and the Board of Regents are ruining our children’s educational opportunity right before our eyes. This may be the most important debate of the decade.
The event is general admission, no tickets are needed, so plan to get there early. There has been an overwhelming response from the Albany and Rochester area as well. It would be great to have a Westhill contingent at the lecture, email Greg McCrea if you’re interested in attending.
Learn more by visiting: http://lectures.syr.edu/lectures/the-death-and-life-of-the-great-american-school-system/
Solidarity Golf Tournament
June 1st, 2014
ESMUT & SRP Colleagues Caring for Kids & Community
The East Syracuse Minoa United Teachers and School Related Professional would like to invite you to the Colleagues Caring for Kid & Community Solidarity Golf Tournament on June 1, 2014. This Captain and Crew event will be held at The Links at Erie Village and will benefit multiple charities, organizations, students and their families from across Central New York (including the NYSUT’s Disaster Relief Fund).
Our hope… is to have at least one four person team from each local in the Syracuse region attend this event. This is a great opportunity to show your solidarity and union colors while raising money for a great cause. In addition to the awards and prizes during the tournament, I’m sure we can have a little friendly competition to see which local can take home the soon to be coveted solidarity cup.
The WDEA would like to sponsor a team (or teams) to attend the event on our behalf. We’d like to show our support for our colleagues at ESM and support this great cause. The NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to relief efforts across New York in recent years including the devastation caused by hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
Email Greg McCrea if you’re interested in organizing a team for the WDEA. For more information, visit:
We’d like to echo the sense of urgency that the superintendent has been conveying regarding school funding in New York. The Governor’s budget proposals are more of the same monkey business that we’ve been seeing in the last few years. Again this year, the budget includes:
- Inadequate funding,
- Refusal to fully refund the Gap Elimination Adjustment,
- Competitive grants that have more losers than winners,
- An education tax credit which would take money away from public schools and give it to private institutions,
- And a “tax freeze” scheme that goes beyond the devastating tax cap and could force schools to a 0% increase virtually crippling their ability to raise funds.
Now is the time to speak out as teachers, parents, and families and demand the governor and our legislators adequately fund our schools. It’s time for them to keep their promises and revive the promise of public education in NY.
I know this sounds like the same old rhetoric from the union, but we’d like you to consider turning that rhetoric into action. Please join us next Wednesday at the CNYSBA workshop on school finances. Last year’s session was a real eye opener. It helped us frame our message when we met with our local legislators to discuss school issues. The session details are:
February 5, 2014: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
North Syracuse Junior High School Auditorium
5353 West Taft Rd.
N. Syr, NY 13212
Dr. Rick Timbs from the Statewide School Finance Consortium will be there. He is engaging to listen to and is the authority on GEA across upstate. Part of his advocacy includes pension reform and reform of the Triborough law (the law which preserves seniority and tenure in NY state), two items that NYSUT clearly does not support. You may consider attending the event as a resident/parent in your home district. Your parental voice can be a powerful one and the Board of Ed members and superintendents present will definitely take notice of your attendance.
Thanks for everything you do. We hope to see you on Wednesday.
Some of you have asked how much our full dues were last year for tax purposes. The most accurate account of those dues is the YTD amount on your paycheck dated December 19, 2013 (our last check of the year). Some of you may not have payed full dues because of time off or change in FTE status.
However for quick reference, the full time YTD dues amount was $690.08 for 2013.
Please contact your building rep if you have any questions about dues.
In January, the WDEA membership voted to change our dental insurance carrier from Excellus BC/BS to Ameritas (which offers a basic and enhanced plan) with an effective changeover date of March 1st.To that end, we met with the Ameritas team last week to discuss the transition of plans.
Based on the current calendar, including February break and the need to give our retirees at least a full 30 day notice, we will not be transitioning on March 1st as previously planned. More likely, our changeover will take place on April 1st. This will give both Ameritas and the district time to transfer data, contact retirees, and generally assure a smooth transition. We have also asked that dentists not in the Ameritas network, but on the Excellus plan, be contacted with plan details (including procedure reimbursement amounts) so they may consider joining Ameritas.
Thank you for your continued patience as we move forward with this change. Please speak to your building rep if you have any questions or if this delay causes any problems on your end.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Westhill Teachers Echo Call for Resignation of NYSED Commissioner John King
October 21, 2013
The Westhill District Education Association supports the New York State Allies for Public Education in their call for the resignation of New York State Education Department Commissioner Dr. John B. King Jr. Commissioner King’s actions during a recent NYS PTA town hall meeting in Poughkeepsie mirrored his established pattern of ignoring the concerns of parents and educators. The cancellation of the future town hall meetings shows a lack of leadership from Commissioner King.
Parents and educators are losing faith in the New York State Education Department’s policies and administration. Parents across New York State are justifiably worried about an increase in mandated standardized testing, the haphazard implementation of the Common Core Standards and the prospect of their children’s confidential data being shared and compromised.
Although Commissioner King has reversed course and rescheduled meetings around the state (in a format he believes will produce more “constructive dialogue”), his ability to lead the school districts of New York has been called into serious question.
The Westhill District Education Association is proud to stand with the parents, community members and fellow educators in NYSAPE to call for a change in direction and policy beginning with new leadership at the New York State Education Department.
Together we can make a difference. Together we can build a better future.
5 Steps to Our Goal of $5000
- Join the team!
- Pledge $100
- Ask 10 friends to donate $10
- Share our team page on Facebook and Twitter
- Walk with us on October 20th, Clinton Square.