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    • Women's History Month Poster - Mary McLeod Bethune

      This month's Women's History Month poster highlights Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955), an American educator and champion of gender and racial equality. In 1904, Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls, which later became Bethune-Cookman College. She became the first African American woman to head a federal agency when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration in 1936. In 1945, she was the only woman of color at the United Nations’ founding conference.

      Bethune was a leader in the black women’s club movement, serving as president of the National Association of Colored Women’s clubs, and founding president of the National Council of Negro Women. She became vice president of the NAACP in 1940, a position she held until her death. In 1973, Bethune was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in her honor in 1985.

      Printable posters can be downloaded or ordered at www.nysut.org/posters. You will need your member ID to place an order; up to 10 copies are available for free to NYSUT members.

       

       

       

    • Albany teacher finds national protest in El Paso inspirational — but heartbreaking

      As President Trump declared a national emergency to build a wall on the southern border, Albany teacher Zeovadis Tavarez-Polanco said the real emergency is what’s happening to immigrant and refugee children who have been separated from their families.

      “Children belong in classrooms, not cages,” said Tavarez-Polanco, one of hundreds of teachers who headed down to El Paso, Texas last weekend for a “Teach-In for Freedom” calling for an end to child detainments and family separations.

      The event, organized by National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning, was both a protest and an educational event — with teachers sharing lessons on the history of U.S. immigration and poignant letters written by immigrant students. Manning, who teaches newly arrived refugee and immigrant students in the state of Washington, said it’s crucial for educators to help people understand that the country’s shameful treatment of immigrant children is “a huge human rights violation.”

      While the event was inspiring for Tavarez-Polanco, she also found it heartbreaking. Participants wore safety pins with children’s nametags and carried signs with pictures of children who were separated from their families entering the country in search of a better life. When asked if the children depicted were missing or still detained, Tavarez-Polanco said, “We just don’t know where they are. They haven’t been keeping track of who these kids are or who they belong to. Some were sent back. Some were released. Some are still being held.”

      As the national emergency at border plays out, an Albany teacher returns from the border in Texas, protesting immigrant children being detained. She says it’s no longer making headlines, but families are still being ripped apart. @SPECNewsAlbany pic.twitter.com/dfe91nbEnz

      — Melissa Steininger (@melissasteinTV) February 19, 2019

      Tavarez-Polanco, whose trip was sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers with a recommendation from NYSUT, said she was surprised how beautiful it was in El Paso. “With everything you hear on the news, I thought it was going to be like a war zone,” she said. “Unlike what the fear-mongerers say, the city felt very safe and welcoming. Many of us walked across the border — it was sort of surreal how peaceful everything was.”

      Tavarez-Polanco, who teaches fifth grade in a dual language program at Delaware Community School, said the event convinced her of the need to keep speaking out and contacting federal representatives. “This isn’t just on our President,” she said. “We need to demand three things from our congressional representatives: first, that they return all kids to their families; second, mental health services must be provided to help these kids with the irreparable damage being done. And third, we need legislation that will guarantee that putting kids in cages will NEVER happen again!”

      As educators noted at the teach-in, this isn’t the first time in history that families have been separated. “We’ve done it to African-Americans, to Native Americans, to Japanese-Americans who were put in camps,” she said. “Not only does it violate international law, it violates humanity.”

      A first-generation American herself, Tavarez-Polanco said she’s surprised more people aren’t speaking out on the issue. “I remember a big animal rights protest at the Convention Center because animals were being held in cages,” she said. “These are our children we’re talking about. They’re being mistreated and traumatized. Why aren’t people more outraged over this?”

      Zeovadis Tavarez-Polanco
      Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.

    Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing a Billionaires' Agenda that would decimate the state's public schools. His "my-way-or-the-highway" budget would:

    • hold school aid increases hostage;
    • woefully underfund the state's K-12 and higher education systems;
    • more than double the weight of standardized tests;
    • make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
    • eliminate funding for teacher training;
    • launch a back-door voucher plan that would siphon funding away from schools most in need;
    • underfund public higher education by tying funding to campus "performance" rather than enrollment;
    • smooth the way for the privatization of SUNY's five hospitals;
    • destroy prep programs for future teachers;
    • and fail to fully address the student debt crisis.

    Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget - which serves the interests of his billionaire backers - is an attack on public education that fails to address what all students need.

    Things you can do right now to fight back.

    Every NYSUT member is needed to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov. Cuomo's Billionaires' Agenda.

    Tell the governor to stop scapegoating... stop teacher bashing and focus on what #AllKidsNeed.

    Here's your to-do list.

    Take action on this week's campaigns.

    The latest actions will always be right here in the No. 1 spot.

    Call your state senator. Now.

    • Stop what you're doing and call your state senator with this message: stand up to the Governor's "Bigfoot" tactics and defend our outstanding New York public schools!
    • You can look up the number at the NYSUT Member Action Center.

    Sign up for MAC text alerts!

    Take 10 seconds and sign up for MAC text alerts on your phone!

    Here's how: Text the word "NYSUT" to the contact number 38470.

    Sign the petitions.

    Call out the governor.

    • Invite the governor to visit your class to learn what #AllKidsNeed. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include his Twitter handle @NYGovCuomo and the hashtag #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    • Not on Twitter? See step 8.

    Get connected to the MAC.

    • BY TEXT. Get real-time text messages about urgent news and actions by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    • BY EMAIL. Subscribe to the NYSUT Member Action Center email alerts for updates on this campaign. If you're registered via email as a NYSUT MAC e-activist you'll also be the first to know about upcoming rallies, protests and more.
    • BY APP. Download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone. Be sure notifications are enabled to receive alerts on new action items.

    Get connected on Facebook.

    Get connected on Twitter.

    • Join Twitter and follow @NYSUT to be part of the social media army.
    • Once a day (or as often as possible) tweet your thoughts on what #AllKidsNeed - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. We're reminding the governor to focus on what matters! Follow the conversation in real-time for some great examples from parents and educators.

    Share the poster.

    Wear the button.

    Take part in community forums.

    • Keep an eye on nysut.org/allkidsneed for information on upcoming NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums to Save Public Education in every region of the state.

    Talk it up.

    • Get the conversation going - online and offline. Read "Where We Stand" and use it to craft social media messages, send letters to the editor, and brief friends and colleagues.
    • Circulate and share print materials and videos.

    Support "Take Action Tuesday."

    • Mark your calendar to support NYSUT's "Take Action Tuesday" every week. Be on the lookout for updates.

    Learn more at www.nysut.org/allkidsneed.

     

    Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:10)

     

    Member Alert Program

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    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)

     

    Nysut Action Center Mobile App

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    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.



    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)

     
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