March 8, 2016

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UUP, NYSUT unite for Committee of 100 advocacy

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UUP leaders and members joined forces with their NYSUT sisters and brothers March 8 for NYSUT’s Committee of 100 advocacy day, in a show of solidarity for legislative goals that would help students and educators from pre-K to college.

Above, UUP VP for Professionals Philippe Abraham hands a piece of union legislative literature to a staffer for Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D-Albany) during a meeting.

NYSUT preK-12 members have long teamed up with their higher education colleagues from UUP for the Committee of 100, which affords the union an opportunity to show lawmakers that public education represents a continuum from early childhood to graduate school.

For UUP, the day meant another chance to speak up for increased operating aid to SUNY, a realistic Maintenance of Effort bill, and the creation of a public higher education endowment.

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Abraham and VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, above, with Cortland Chapter member David Ritchie during a meeting at the office of Sen. James Seward (R-Oneonta), joined UUP members during meetings with lawmakers.

Recruiting new teachers essential

Abraham said that UUP’s legislative plan, Recruiting and Educating Teachers for All, “is near and dear to my heart, because it would help the teaching corps to reflect the populations they are teaching.”

RETA, which seeks $15 million in state funding in the budget, would address two crucial issues in New York today: a shortage of teachers, and an extreme shortage of teachers from diverse backgrounds.

Dangler and Ritchie also spoke about RETA. Instead of the state designating money for SUNY’s performance-based funding program, Dangler said, the state should provide startup funds for RETA to help keep talented young college graduates in New York.

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