I wanted to share with you the success we had yesterday with our visit to Sen. DeFrancisco’s office. “Success” is relative here because there is still no budget in Albany as of this email (follow budget updates at: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/) and in fact we didn’t even see DeFrancisco, rather his education aid. What we did see was a group of dedicated teachers, parents, and students speaking out for Westhill schools and standing up for education funding.
The GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) was imposed some 5 years ago and has resulted in over $7.5M in cuts to Westhill alone in state and federal funding. Restoration of this funding is essential if we hope to have sustainable budgets in the years to come. If we don’t, we will continue to see budget cuts like this year’s and last’s.
The kids that spoke at the meeting yesterday afternoon were brilliant (video coming soon). They shared a message more powerful than any I could hope to relay. Thanks should go out to the parents who have been so dedicated to our cause. Together, we are building coalitions in our community that make us stronger as educators.
What’s next? What can you do to help?
- Please call the Governor’s office (right now) and ask him to pass a budget that restores the GEA funding to education @(518) 474-8390. We’ve sacrificed millions of dollars in Westhill, it’s time he keeps his promise to restore funding to the schools.
- Log on to http://mac.nysut.org and fax your legislators and the gov.
- Join us at Monday night’s board meeting at the HS starting at 7PM. Please encourage community members and your colleagues to attend. This is our chance to stand up, speak out, and put people first in our classrooms.
- Make a pledge to vote in your local school budget elections on May 15th. We have hundreds of NYSUT members living in our district, but if they don’t vote, we can’t win. We win when you vote.
Thanks for your continued dedication to education in our community. As always, call me or email if you have any questions or comments.