Activists continue push for revenue as budget deadline passes
Early this week, labor and faith activists made a powerful pitch for increasing state revenue through additional taxes on the wealthy while dispelling the myth that it would drive millionaires out of the state. With COVID-19 restrictions and many issues still on the table, this year’s state budget deadline passed quietly at midnight Wednesday. If an agreement is reached by the weekend, lawmakers could begin to pass budget bills next week.
NYSUT initiative to spread the word on opt-out rights
This year has tested our kids enough. The union will be placing ads on billboards, buses and bus shelters all over the state this month to share information on test refusal rights before standardized state testing begins April 19. To help answer questions about students opting out of the tests, NYSUT offers these updated fact sheets for parents and teachers.
Union nurses vaccinate sisters and brothers in education
A team of lead nurses from the Federation of Nurses/UFT has been helping with vaccine rollout as teachers and school-related professionals in the New York City area get their COVID-19 vaccinations. “We’re sending seasoned veterans to help out,” said Anne Goldman, a UFT vice president and chair of NYSUT’s Health Care Professionals Council. “We’ve been pretty efficient and effective.” (Above, Raquel Webb Geddes, visiting nurse with Federation of Nurses/UFT, at a vaccination site.)
- NYSUT’s 2021 Health and Safety Conference will be held virtually May 21–23. Details on the conference schedule and registration will be coming soon. If you are interested in attending, you can sign up here to receive updates.
- SED's public comment period on a proposal to change the term "LOTE," or "Languages Other than English" to "World Languages" is open until May 25. Send comments to email@example.com.
- Applications for the statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) for special education teachers are due by June 30.
- You can sign up online for NYSUT’s upcoming free student debt webinars.
- The educators’ expense tax deduction now includes PPE and other COVID-related expenses. Also, new charitable giving tax incentives help charitable organizations like the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund. And don’t forget, if you itemize, you can deduct union dues from New York state taxable income.