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School Boards Elections and Budget Vote

SCHOOLS BOARD ELECTIONS AND BUDGET VOTE MAY 18, 2010. DON’T JUST VOTE DOWN YOUR SCHOOL BUDGET, VOTE IN NEW BOARD MEMBERS TOO. SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS HAVE BEGUN AND THERE ARE INCUMBANTS NEEDING AN OUSTING AND VACANT SEATS NEEDING FILLED.

You know why we need new people in the realm of fiscal prudence, but make no mistake – we need new people to stand up to the radical agendas creeping into our schools everywhere.

STOP THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA FROM AFFECTING YOUR 1ST GRADER, YES EVEN 1ST GRADERS, IT’S QUIETLY HAPPENING RIGHT HERE IN CHAUTAQUA COUNTY. STOP THE ABORTION LOBBY FROM AFFECTING YOUR UNDERAGE CHILDREN LIKE THE 15 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO WAS RECENTLY PROVIDED A TAX PAYER FUNDED ABORTION BY A WASHINGTON SCHOOL, WITH NO PARENTAL CONSENT OR KNOWLEDGE. PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS ALIVE AND WELL HERE ALSO, IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME. STOP THE USURPING OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, STAND UP TO THE GOVERNMENT INTRUSION BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CHILD. STOP THE ERRADICATION OF CHRISTIANITY AND THE MORAL TEACHINGS THEREWITH. STOP THE OVERALL LIBERAL INDOCTRINATION, TEACHING OF REVISIONIST HISTORY, AND LACK OF PROPER STUDIES OF AMERICAN HERITAGE AND CONSTITUTIONAL LEARNING.

We urge you or others you know to take a stand and run, and to get involved and support those that do.

FOR CANDIDATES Petitions nominating candidates for the office of member of the Board of Education can be obtained from the Clerk of your District, are available now, and must be filed with not later than 4:00pm April 19, 2010, at the office of said clerk. Your district clerk will also inform you of how many signatures you need from qualified voters (regardless of party) in your district (in Jamestown it’s 100).

FOR VOTERS Absentee ballots may be obtained, by application, from your District Clerk on or after April 24, 2010, but no later than May 12, if requested by mail. Absentee ballots must be filed with the District Clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. May 18, 2010. If your not a registered voter, you must do so by or on May 4th. (Jamestown holds a registration that day, check with your clerk to be sure of the date in your own district).

IT’S UP TO YOU TO TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT, AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE A LARGE AND IMPORTANT PART OF IT!

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 JPS Board Approves Budget Proposal

April 7, 2010

It is what it is. Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education members had little else to say before voting on a 2010-2011 budget Tuesday — with the five-word comment coming from Joseph DiMaio. The $76.6 million budget was approved in a 6-1 vote during an evening meeting at Jefferson Middle School. Thomas Pope cast the lone dissenting vote. The budget will go to the public May 18. Though $697,435 less than the current year’s budget, the 2010-2011 budget features a 5 percent local tax increase — equaling 85 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The $697,435 figure represents a .48 percent decrease from the 2009-2010 budget. Explaining the district’s budget situation, Daniel “Deke” Kathman, superintendent of schools, said the problem is one of decreased revenues — largely from loss of state funding.

» Full Story

No sir, it’s a loss of one time extra state funding, you as an educator are smarter than that and ought to quit playing word games and hoodwinking the taxpayers! At 76.6Million you’re spending 4.5Million more than 2 years ago, 12.2Million more than 3 years ago, and 18Million more than 5 years ago!

Well isn’t that great, still a tax hike, BUT the budget is $697k lower than last year. Sorry but that is nothing to gloat about. We repeat, over the past couple years you have received Millions in additional Fed and State Aid, for example 06-07 Fed aid UP $2.2M, 07-08 State aid UP $8.6M, and what have you done with it?

Oh the payroll, 08-09 total payroll went up approx $10M, yes 10 Million $. Now you’re whining and can’t do better, well ain’t that a shame. We’ve reviewed the payroll and although Kathman is working for less than Faschano was, Kathman still got a raise from his previous position, and everyone else has gotten raises too. Spending overall has gone up year after year and over the short term as described below, by huge percentages, and they come up with 1/2% decrease. Maybe you all need to forego any raises in pay or benefits, maybe even give some back, and definately you need to get the 100’s of people you’ve added to the payroll, off the payroll. If your people are doing their jobs and working so hard, you should not need all these extra aids and subs.

Enough’s enough, if JPS can’t do what it has to do to come up with a no tax increase budget, then the Voters should join the lone dissenter Mr Pope (and our praise to you sir) and vote down this budget, and as importantly, vote out everyone except Mr Pope!

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In Our Opinion From the Editor, Jamestown Post Journal

POSTED: April 5, 2010

New York’s Division of the Budget offers a by-the-numbers look at state funding of education that perhaps should put perspective on the unresolved questions about how much aid money the state should put in next year’s budget.

These figures should also be kept in mind as school districts contemplate the need to increase the amount of money collected locally from property owners to fund education.

Gov. David Paterson’s initial budget proposal recommends $20.5 billion for school aid, a $1.1 billion or 5 percent cut from this year. But of course the state Assembly appears to be walking away from even that modest amount.

Nevertheless, it’s worth remembering what the Division of the Budget says about the Paterson proposal.

”A look at this proposal, by the numbers, indicates that the vast majority of school districts should be able to manage these reductions without adversely impacting property taxpayers or educational quality,” the Division of the Budget notes.

Here’s the numbers:

Even with the cut, the governor’s proposal represents a 42 percent – $6.1 billion – increase in school aid since the 2003-04 state budget. That increase, says the Division of the Budget, is more than twice the rate of inflation during that period.

Looking back the 10 years before that, to 1991, the governor’s initial proposal represented a 141 percent or $12 billion increase which is, again, more than twice the rate of inflation during that period.

New York’s per pupil overall education spending is $15,536 – 61 percent above the national average.

New York per pupil spending on school district employee salaries is $7,328 – 71 percent above the national average.

New York per pupil spending on school district employee benefits is $2,901 – 109 percent above the national average.

The total amount of reported undesignated reserves held by school districts statewide, which the Division of the Budget points out could potentially be used to mitigate proposed state aid reductions, is $1.5 billion.

New York is going broke, school and other local taxes are breaking the backs of property owners, public employees are continuing to collect raises and enviable benefits year after year. And frankly, we do not see anything in Albany or locally to indicate in any way that the ballooning costs of government will be reined in.

At best we see most of our elected representatives trying to figure out which type of tax and fee increases will have the least impact on them personally come election time.

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NY school payrolls jump, enrollment drops, private sector unemployment at level not seen in decades, tax payers bleed, fiscal crisis rocks nation and the state, Ny property/school taxes some of worst in the nation, Ny deficit at an all time high, Ny spending at all time high, but the teachers unions and administrators keep on bolstering their ranks and taking raises.

Don’t just read this article, read the next 2 entries we previously posted that make all this clear as day. This payroll issue isn’t just happening elsewhere in the state, it’s been happening right here in Chautauqua county!

Report: NY school payrolls jump, enrollment drops

By MICHAEL GORMLEY , 03.30.10, 04:15 PM EDT

ALBANY, N.Y. — A study released Tuesday reported that New York public schools have dramatically increased hiring during a period of historic increases in state aid and local property taxes even while enrollment declined.

The report by The Empire Center of the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute comes as schools, protected by powerful lobbies, have so far avoided deep cuts during the state’s fiscal crisis while warning that a proposed cut of 5 percent would force layoffs that would devastate education……

“I’m not saying, `Go ahead and lay them off,'” said the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon. “But this is a system that has not been starved by any definition … let’s get some perspective.”

McMahon said large staff cuts at once would be too disruptive. But there are other ways to cut costs, he said, including freezing raises for a year that an assemblyman recently calculated would save $1 billion, almost all of the proposed cut in school aid.

Unlike other areas of state spending, including health care and social services for the poor, school aid protected by the state’s powerful teachers unions has escaped deep cuts in the state’s two years of fiscal crisis and is in line for a rare restoration of a proposed cut. McMahon called the New York State United Teachers union the most powerful lobbyist in Albany, spending millions on lobbying and campaign contributions each year.

Gov. David Paterson has pushed the 5 percent cut in state school aid, which now totals about $21 billion a year. After consecutive years of record aid and local tax increases, most schools have enough reserves to take the hit, he said.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/03/30/business-financial-impact-us-education-funding-new-york_7476113.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

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Tell your school no way to tax increases, demand accountability!

The schools are now whining and complaining, article after article, about cut backs in State aid and how they now have such dire fiscal problems. Always suggesting program cuts and cuts VS. the kids, now finally we are hearing about cutting positions, but tax increases too !

Too bad the schools have acted so irresponsibly through times of recession, through times of having received record levels of additional Fed/State aid. Look at what they did with it, look at the previous years increase in levels and cost of payroll. Look at the audit reports, for example of Southwestern.

Study this info and then see if you agree with us, that the kids shouldn’t suffer, the already overburdened tax payer shouldn’t suffer, it’s the administrations that should!

So we don’t care how you do it, eliminate positions and cut others, put a wage and benefits freeze in place (and we don’t want to hear any Union complaints, nor administration excuses as related thereto) just find a way to deal with your past misdealings, and proceed forward with NO TAX INCREASES.

History/Context from the Governor and his budget office – 2010

New York public schools spend more per pupil overall ($15,546) than nearly any other state and 61 percent above the national average.

New York ranks first in per pupil spending for school district employee salaries ($7,328, or 71 percent above the national average) and benefits ($2,901, which is 109 percent above the national average).

This reflects a combination of heavy local taxes and significant State spending.

In recent years, during the Wall Street boom, School Aid increased at a rapid and unsustainable rate. Even after the year-to-year reduction to School Aid proposed in the current Executive Budget, State support for education would still have increased by $6.1 billion or 42 percent compared to 2003-04 – twice the rate of inflation (19 percent) during that period.

Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides more than $31 billion in Federal assistance over two years to New York State.

and the schools know this is a one time shot, a temporary measure, so for them to now be calling the end of the program a loss of revenue, or a budget gap, ect., is both disingenuous and irresponsible !

 

 

2007-2008 School District Benchmark Comparisons

Source: Office of State Comptroller, with further calculations by the Public Policy Institute, research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State, and the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

School District of Dunkirk City Jamestown South-western Falconer
Local Revenue Per Pupil Total amount raised through local taxes and fees divided by enrollment.    $7,887 $3,881 $8,187 $5,737
State Aid Per Pupil Total amount of revenues derived from State Aid divided by enrollment.    $9,686 $10,913 $7,088 $8,499
Effective Property Tax Real property taxes (total amount of revenue raised through real property taxes) divided by adjusted full value. Adjusted full value represents a district’s full value minus STAR payments from the state.   1.65% 1.33% 1.74% 1.55%
Debt Principle Per Pupil Payments made toward debt principle divided by enrollment.   $404 $1,037 $1,039 $865
Debt Interest Per Pupil Payments made toward interest on debt divided by enrollment.   $149 $411 $921 $489
Operations Per Pupil Total amount of expenditures associated with the physical operations of the district divided by enrollment. This subcategory may include, expenditures for buildings, maintenance, highway maintenance, improvements, snow removal, water services, sewer services, and general school/government support. Per-pupil operations expenditures may include one-time expenditures for capital projects or equipment purchases. This may temporarily increase per-pupil operations expenditures.   $1,286 $4,019 $4,469 $1,667
Administration Per Pupil Total amount of expenditures related to the general administrative workings of the district divided by population. This subcategory may include expenditures for executive, legislative, judicial, legal, educational, and financial operations.   $549 $256 $569 $248
State/Local/Teacher Retirement Per Pupil   Total amount of expenditures for the New York State and Local and Teachers’ Retirement System.   $936 $607 $577 $529
Medical Insurance Per Pupil Total amount of expenditures for medical insurance divided by enrollment. This subcategory may include hospital, medical, and dental insurance.   $1,356 $1,193 $1,686 $1,112
Union Benefits Per Pupil Total amount of expenditures for union benefits programs divided by enrollment.   NDR NDR NDR NDR
 
Total Spending Per Pupil Total all-categories expenditures divided by enrollment. $18,609 $19,137 $19,323 $14,240

Note: “NDR” means no data reported to state comptroller in this category.

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 SOUTHWESTERN SCHOOLS 

2009  2008 
Total Payroll  $10,944,635.58 $8,675,122.89
Number of Persons 303 197  

______________________________________________________________

Location: Home > 2008-09 Enacted Budget > Localities and School Districts  > School Aid

Southwestern School District: Chautauqua County


2007-08 Formula & Building Aid: $10,730,347
2008-09 Formula & Building Aid, NYC EXCEL: $11,911,863
Year-to-Year Change: $1,181,516
Percent Change: +11.01%

Overall School Aid Increase: The 2008-09 Enacted Budget increases school aid by $1.75 billion (8.9 percent), brining statewide total funding to $21.4 billion. Foundation Aid, which targets funding to high-needs districts based on objective criteria of district wealth and student need, will comprise the vast majority of this investment ($14.9 billion) and increase by $1.2 billion (8.8 percent).

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Open Book New York          
Office of the State Comptroller          
Thomas P. DiNapoli, State Comptroller        
         
Trend Report for Southwestern School District for Selected Categories
Enrollment 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
  1551 1603 1609 1671 1750
Revenues  2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Total 21,444,111 20,080,968 19,241,329 18,798,484 18,718,834
Federal Aid 977,774 813,633 919,138 886,552 836,886
Real Property Taxes (local) 9,472,293 8,959,795 8,405,427 8,177,858 7,905,826
State Aid 10,994,044 10,307,540 9,916,764 9,734,074 9,976,122
Expenditures 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Total 29,918,882 24,414,486 22,566,140 22,065,668 20,508,106
 
Total Debt Outstanding at End of FY $32,972,247 $28,173,506 $28,195,201 $29,361,510 $30,700,498
Debt Service 3,041,000 2,927,860 2,867,274 2,896,018 2,927,802
Education 14,497,709 13,679,743 13,092,113 13,039,275 12,438,476
Education – Transportation 1,031,277 918,653 896,605 747,349 616,984
Instruction 11,559,207 10,829,659 10,283,093 10,643,244 10,284,366
Instructional Support 1,043,566 1,060,201 1,091,174 877,558 831,066
Miscellaneous Education 987 1,535 2,886
Pupil Services 622,547 642,836 603,444 552,857 492,885
Student Activities 240,125 228,394 216,262 215,381 213,175
Employee Benefits 4,566,146 4,217,798 4,034,770 3,754,859 2,985,501
Life Insurance 13,111 12,974 12,767 12,368 11,292
Medical Insurance 2,614,963 2,318,169 2,155,642 1,998,181 1,841,562
Retirement – State/Local 167,173 194,772 228,848 245,472 88,475
Retirement – Teacher 726,879 676,544 636,620 514,707 106,208
Social Security 789,925 762,372 776,896 749,475 732,215
Unclassified Employee Benefits 155,156 143,398 139,580 136,562 72,982
Unemployment Insurance 6,226 17,798 25,894 21,303 42,285
Union Benefits Program
Worker’s Compensation 92,713 91,771 58,155 76,459 90,482
General Government 7,814,027 3,589,085 2,571,983 2,375,516 2,156,327
Administration 881,931 819,898 847,449 526,086 458,254
Operations 6,932,096 2,769,187 1,724,534 1,849,430 1,698,073

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State of New York Office of the State Comptroller

Division of Local Government and School Accountability

January 2009

Our audit was to examine the Southwestern Central School District’s internal controls over selected

financial operations for the period July 1, 2006 to September 12, 2008.

Audit Results

The District does not have adequate controls in place to accurately evaluate the District’s financial condition and safeguard assets. This was evident in the excessive fund balance in the general fund over the last several years; the maintenance of several reserves with no demonstrated need for them; and the lack of controls over certain aspects of information technology and leave time management. The Board has not adequately monitored the District’s financial condition, resulting in the June 30, 2007 unreserved, unappropriated fund balance of approximately $1.3 million representing 5.6 percent of the ensuing year’s budget, or nearly twice the legal limit that a school district was allowed to retain. The surplus has not been used to reduce the District’s tax levy. In addition, the District has established various reserves, which continue to increase; however, District officials did not demonstrate the need for the balances maintained. The minutes of the Board’s proceedings did not clearly identify the Board’s authorization of certain employee benefits. In addition to salaries, certain employees were paid for unused leave time, in the amount of $20,414, without Board authorization. In addition, the District does not have a process for tracking employee attendance and there is no signature from the employee or a manager attesting to the time worked. Further, there is no procedure in place to account for leave time usage and balances. As a result, the District’s internal controls were not sufficient to ensure that employees received only the pay and benefi ts to which they were entitled. The lack of a payroll policy and formal written procedures, coupled with segregation of duties issues, lack of managerial oversight, and insufficient payroll certification could lead to irregular activities occurring and remaining undetected.

[ Fund Balance and Budgets – The unreserved, unappropriated fund balance at June 30, 2007 was approximately $1.3 million, which was 5.6 percent of the ensuing  year’s budgeted expenditures, nearly twice the legally established limit at that time (3 percent). In addition, we noted that the tax levy increased by 5.7 percent or approximately $500,000 from the 2006-07 to 2007-08 fi scal year. Even though approximately $600,000 of the District’s unreserved fund balance was appropriated annually to reduce the tax levy, the levy increased by approximately $1.3 million (more than 15 percent) over the past four years. In addition, appropriated fund balance was not used as budgeted. The overestimation of expenditures contributed to operating surpluses for two of the three fiscal years we reviewed.

The Superintendent and Board routinely overestimated operating expenditures for instructional costs, employee benefits and transportation, and routinely raised the amount of tax levied to meet these unrealistic budget estimates. For the 2006-07 year, instructional costs were overestimated by $674,050, employee benefits by $365,437 and transportation by $143,568, totaling $1,183,055. During the 2005-06 year, these costs were over budgeted by $912,086 and in the 2004-05 year by $607,540. District officials indicated that they over budgeted for these costs because the teacher contract expired on June 30, 2006 and was not settled until April 30, 2008 and because of fluctuating fuel prices. ]

[ Bonded-Debt Reserve — As of June 30, 2007, the District reported a reserve for bonded debt in its debt service fund in the amount of $982,570. This reserve was established during the 2005-06 fiscal year and has not been used since then. District officials indicated that this reserve was funded with interest earned on bonds related to a project from 2001. Such moneys are required by Local Finance Law to be set aside and used only for project purposes or debt service for the related bonds. However, the District has consistently budgeted forthe annual principal and interest payments on the related debt in thegeneral fund,  and therefore levied taxes for this purpose. The failure to adopt realistic budgets and properly establish and maintain only necessary reserves has resulted in the accumulation of a significant amount of resources. Had these moneys been reported as general fund unreserved balance, real property taxes would necessarily have been reduced, since the Board would have been required to comply with the statutory limits for the amount of unreserved fund balance that may be retained at year-end. ]

[ Payroll Processing – … However, there was no indication that the Board authorized the extension of these benefits to these individuals. There was also no Board authorization for any increases in salary that were beyond what was approved in the original salary package or when the employee was originally hired. Since the approval of the salary package, two new positions have been added to the non-affiliate group and two positions have had turnover. When the new employees were hired, the starting salary was stated in the Board minutes, but the benefits  and subsequent increases were not. Nine employees are considered non-affiliates; their salaries totaled approximately $380,000 for 2007-08.

Leave Time – … We tested two non-affiliate employees who retired during our scope period. They were paid a total of $16,288 for unused vacation leave and each had 200 unused sick leave days credited to the Employees’ Retirement System. Although the number of unused leave days used to calculate these amounts agreed with leave time records, there was no Board authority for such payments and there is no procedure in place to ensure that the leave time remaining unused was accurate. ] 

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We pulled the most pertinant excerpts from the report. To read the full report go to:

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/

____________________________________________________________

JAMESTOWN SCHOOLS 2009 2008
Total Payroll $39,944,141.57 $29,368,590.14
Number of Persons 1070 622
Open Book New York
Office of the State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli, State Comptroller
Trend Report for Jamestown School District for Selected Categories
Revenues and Proceeds of Debt 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Total 72,162,163 64,468,502 62,261,384 58,605,860 57,290,562
Federal Aid 8,256,004 9,619,517 7,455,349 7,500,171 8,020,086
Federal Aid – Education 6,214,321 7,440,961 5,055,849 5,413,617 6,059,412
Federal Aid – Social Services 2,041,683 2,178,556 2,399,500 2,086,554 1,960,674
Real Property Taxes 9,906,408 9,485,035 8,924,143 8,664,753 8,761,355
State Aid 53,999,751 45,363,950 45,881,892 42,440,936 40,509,121
State Aid – Education 53,985,751 45,334,267 45,848,004 42,365,414 40,508,933
State Aid – General Government 14,000 29,683 33,888 75,522 188
Expenditures 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Total 94,602,101 84,357,019 73,429,028 70,275,247 75,105,222
Debt Service 7,162,926 6,502,304 5,686,853 5,495,036 4,166,773
Education 52,240,552 50,280,958 47,882,611 46,049,929 46,323,838
Education – Transportation 1,140,571 935,548 1,282,028 900,456 631,313
Instruction 43,432,175 42,225,494 39,528,852 38,273,810 39,608,379
Instructional Support 5,122,233 4,547,721 4,612,673 4,586,390 3,842,470
Pupil Services 2,028,378 2,078,154 1,972,771 1,840,589 1,829,054
Student Activities 517,195 494,041 486,287 448,684 412,622
Employee Benefits 14,045,496 13,191,688 12,089,349 11,101,205 9,347,076
Life Insurance 51,393 52,303 48,090 54,316 48,744
Medical Insurance 5,903,965 5,804,938 5,058,605 4,526,450 4,631,304
Retirement – State/Local 634,872 710,477 691,819 962,378 152,826
Retirement – Teacher 2,371,991 2,409,502 2,083,443 1,375,465 927,779
Social Security 2,720,532 2,593,099 2,465,863 2,365,716 2,350,184
Unclassified Employee Benefits 2,085,190 1,290,487 1,372,298 1,561,587 927,804
Unemployment Insurance 41,415 62,306 76,227 43,859 110,701
Union Benefits Program
Worker’s Compensation 236,138 268,576 293,004 211,434 196,774
General Government 21,153,127 14,382,069 7,770,215 7,629,077 15,267,535
Administration 1,266,725 1,084,115 1,102,277 1,069,357 1,060,354
Operations 19,886,402 13,297,954 6,667,938 6,559,720 14,207,181

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Now for some background on NYSUT, a part of the problem.

 

April 2009 at a gala whereby State Education Commissioner Richard Mills was honored leading up to his retirement that June, he spoke and stated Federal stimulus funds must be used by school districts to save jobs (their jobs, and they didn’t just save them, they added to them) and not for tax relief (yeh because we sure don’t need any of that) he assured delegates.”

NYSUT Union Vice President Maria Neira said of Mills that day “You’ve always been an important, dependable ally”

~ ~ ~

NYSUT calls themself the most influential and successful lobbying group in New York. (yep, and theyre breaking our backs) They work in Albany and Washington, D.C. The union’s Legislative Department drafts, introduces and lobbies for bills affecting state aid to schools and colleges, licensure, tenure, healthcare, safety, policy, standards, pension and retirement.

In 2006, NYSUT secured the $1.1 billion school-aid increase and a $300 million increase in aid to higher education. The union also was able to kill what they call dangerous proposals for vouchers in Albany. (dangerous to them, but not parents, and not taxpayers)

NYSUT also secured legislation to guarantee automatic cost-of-living pension increases for its public sector retirees!

NYSUT’s Legislative Department also lobbies state and federal representatives to help retain professional enhancements they’ve won. They pride themselves about additional support for our public schools they get from the efforts of what they call hundreds of grassroots lobbyists. (otherwise known as SEIU and others of like ilk). They enourage members who want to influence issues directly affecting their pensions and job security to talk with their local president about becoming part of their political action teams and alliances, to be the core of letter-writing campaigns and to operate phone banks at school budget time and during the fall elections. They do this large in part through their Union fundraising arm called VOTE-COPE and along with their declared affiliates the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.. Called non-partisan it is in reality one of the most partisan organizations in existence. (State and Federal campaign finance records proof=  their spending is almost entirely one sided, and it is more so in this last election cycle than ever before)

They stress Voter registration and have supported Motor Voter laws and have been a strong alliance to the Acorn and affiliated group’s exploits. They encourage volunteering to work in NYSUT phone banks and on political campaigns, and get this-their words “which is critical if we are to exert influence beyond our classrooms, cafeterias and health care centers.”

On Voting on School Budgets: “So many of us live and work under the terms and conditions of employment collectively bargained with our public employer. It’s important to support school district budgets and the programs and services we provide by being organized and showing support when the budgets come before the voters. We may not always work in the same school district we vote in, but voting to support school budgets helps each and every union member in your community. Our local unions frequently endorse candidates for election to local school boards. Be sure to support the pro-labor pro-public education candidates on the ballot.

In addition NYSUT has a full-time polling center, and futher they use  much of VOTE-COPE expenditures is in the form of rebates to local unions to be used in local activities such as school board races and for passage of school budgets.

NYSUT has opposed state budget cuts year after year with rhetorical grandstanding and political arm twisting. Now we have an unsustainable budget and a major deficit, yet still they oppose cuts. They are opposing the Property Tax Cap proposal, have opposed voucher programs calling them dangerous, supported the Federal Health care legislation, Open borders and Amnesty,and are supporting the pro-unionizing Farm bill. As for anything “Social Justice” they’re all for it.

Here’s some of NYSUT’s advocacy under Social Justice (links and descriptions taken from their site, except of course our comments in italics)

  • Southern Poverty Law Center – The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, the Center is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.  (An extremist hate group more so than any Tea Party group to which they claim the same)
  • GLSEN – The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) envisions a future in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.  (can you say radical Czar Kevin Jennings)
  • NAACP – The primary focus of the NAACP continues to be the protection and enhancement of the civil rights of African Americans and other minorities. (who just recently honored x-Czar, Communist and radical, Van Jones with one of their prestigious awards)
  • International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission – Organization whose mission is to protect and advance the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. Worldwide press releases tackling issues such as lesbian rights, race and sexuality, and the Nazi persecution of gays are published to this end.  (can you say radical Czar Kevin Jennings)
  • The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States . NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia .  (can you say abortion, abortion, abortion)
  • American Civil Liberties Union – The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty. We work daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States . Our job is to conserve America ‘s original civic values – the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  (ACLU – sometimes the American Communists League United, always the Anti Christian Lawyers Union)
  • Coalition of Black Trade Unionists – The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists consists of members from seventy-seven international and national unions with forty two chapters across the country. CBTU seeks to fulfill the dream of those Black trade unionists, both living and deceased, who throughout this century have courageously and unremittingly struggled to build a national movement that would bring all our strengths and varied talents to bear in the unending effort to achieve economic, political and social justice for every American.
  • National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League – NARAL Pro-Choice America is a leading national advocate for personal privacy and a woman’s right to choose. (can you say abortion, abortion, abortion)
  • Restorative Justice – Restorative Justice Online is a service of Prison Fellowship International. It is a gateway site with links to this important movement for social justice worldwide.

 And now for their use/misuse and twisted sense of religion. It’s all about social justice (the Rev Jim Wallis just loves all this). Many people have wondered over the years, how is it that so many Catholics and other Christian citizens vote Democrat/Liberal?, Why do they vote for Abortionist candidates, Homosexual lobby candidates, and candidates in general who’s politics are so hypocritical and outright diametrically oppose their religious views, that they supposedly hold so dear?  Well this ought to help explain it.

Labor and religious leaders join forces for workers’ rights

NYSUT Newswire – December 2007

The Faith and Labor Holiday Celebration at NYSUT headquarters was an opportunity for area labor organizations and religious communities that work under the auspices of the Labor-Religion Coalition to mark a year of progress and look ahead to 2008.

The gathering was also a celebration of a successful collaboration in which contributions by four statewide unions – PEF, NYSUT, CSEA and SEIU – combined with a matching grant from the Jobs with Justice, a national worker rights organization. The Labor-Religion Coalition of the Capital District is a Jobs with Justice affiliate. The money will help fund the clergy breakfast series in the Capital Region, which will bring together clergy and area residents to discuss workers’ issues, especially in communities where workers are interested in organizing.

Gene Rodriguez and the Rev. Victor Collier know that a training program alone won’t help an inexperienced worker get a starter job in the building trades. The Rev. Alexandra Lusak of the First United Presbyterian Church in Troy spoke of worker rights and told the gathering. “When those rights are ignored, the faith community, unions, and volunteers from civil and human rights organizations have a shared responsibility to stand together and work for change.”

Lusak and her church activists have advocated on behalf of the right to unionize for home-based child-care providers. A group of 28,000 providers affiliated that fall with the United Federation of Teachers, NYSUT’s local union in New York City schools.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi took note of the historic connection among unions and the social-justice branches of many faiths. Iannuzzi, with Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, co-chairs the statewide Labor-Religion Coalition.

“There is no finer statement than the ability to say ‘labor and religion’ in the same sentence, and see them in the same place, carrying the same banner,” Iannuzzi said.

Participants who addressed the gathering offered testaments to the gains made when organized labor and religion join forces.

Big Labor indoctrination and activism in the classroom.

Helping students learn about labor, By Bernie Mulligan – New York Teacher – March 1, 2010

As the labor movement fights to stay a strong voice for working families, NYSUT members lead the way.

“It’s so important that students know labor history and understand their rights,” said Brenda Lee Saunders, president of the 114-member Greenwich Teachers Association in Washington County. “We have to keep working to present a more favorable view of labor.”

Saunders, who has taught for eight years and been president of her local union for three, has done her share to spread labor’s story.

Her small local sponsored a resolution on the importance of labor education, which passed unanimously last year at the NYSUT Representative Assembly, the union’s annual policy-making convention.

“I knew having the RA pass a resolution on this would be an important step in promoting labor education,” Saunders said.

The resolution complements NYSUTs years of efforts as a strong voice for labor studies in the classroom. Labor history is included in the curriculum for grades 4, 7-8 and 11-12.

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira wrote to state Education Commissioner David Steiner recently, advocating for the inclusion of more labor information in the state’s secondary curriculum.

“This information would allow our students to learn more about the important role of unions in procuring fair wages, working conditions and other benefits of employment,” Neira wrote. “The future work force of our state should be knowledgeable about activism for social justice.” She also urged including more labor awareness in curriculum for students in Career and Technical Education.

Steiner responded positively, noting the labor history curriculum currently available. When the review and revision of the social studies and CTE standards is reopened, Steiner wrote, “…we will be happy to reach out to NYSUT for assistance.”

NYSUT already has strong ties to the American Labor Studies Center in Troy, a nonprofit organization that creates and disseminates information on labor history. The ALSC Web site is coordinated by former NYSUT Board member Paul Cole. ALSC’s resources, he noted, include labor history-based lesson plans, an interactive labor history timeline and labor policy issues, songs and photos.

Popular offerings from the ALSC include the standards-based thematic unit “Hardball and Handshakes,” which uses the history of labor relations in of all things the GAME AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY of Major League Baseball to teach about unions, as well as a unit on Troy immigrant labor leader Kate Mullaney, which teaches students about workers’ efforts to organize.

Besides the American Labor Studies Center site, Brenda Lee Saunders recommends the following books for an accurate portrayal of labor’s story:

• Teachers United: The Rise of New York State United Teachers, Gaffney, 2007

• The American Pageant — A History of the Republic, Bailey, Cohen and Kennedy, 2002

One World, Ready or Not, Greider, 1997

• Lies Across America and Lies My Teacher Told Me, Loewen, 1995/1999

• The Working Class Majority, Zweig, 2000

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(AH, BUT WILL THEY TEACH OUR STUDENTS THIS: New York public schools spend more per pupil overall ($15,546) than nearly any other state and 61 percent above the national average. New York ranks first in per pupil spending for school district employee salaries ($7,328, or 71 percent above the national average) and benefits ($2,901, which is 109 percent above the national average), yet we are nowhere near these high averages on results. OR THIS: Approximately 94 percent of the State workforce is unionized. State employees receive an average compensation of $63,750 plus fringe benefits, well above the average for private sector employees!)

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Finally, pushing the Census. It’s all about the Money stupid. Not to mention specifically social justice, affirmative action plans, and so on. The Constitutional enumeration of this power is for Representation purposes only, but they twist this end to be about Unconstitutional federal spending and control. The fed after all, these days is a strong ally.

POV: 2010 Census – It’s easy, safe and important

By U.S. Census Staff – New York Teacher – February 28, 2010 

Every 10 years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation conducts a census — an effort to count every person living in the United States.   (yes thats all it’s for, and it’s not all persons, it’s supposed to be for all legal persons, not invaders that you’ll than want to allocate additional monies to)

The Decennial Census is the largest domestic undertaking of the American public, requiring years of planning and more than a half-million temporary workers. The key to this endeavor is having every household fill out and mail back a completed census form. Participation in the 2010 Census is easy, safe and important to the future of every community.

Households are asked to provide key demographic information, including: whether a housing unit is rented or owned; the address of the residence; and the names, genders, ages and races of others living in the household.

The law guarantees the confidentiality of census information and establishes penalties for disclosing this information. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with the FBI, the CIA, Immigration, Welfare or any other government agency.   (wrong, it supposes the guarantee. It’s been violated before and could be again, and how does the citizen even know if it is. Also if no other government agency has access, how do they accomplish some of things stated below?)

No court of law can access individual responses. The same law prevents the Census Bureau from selling or giving away addresses. Census workers are sworn to secrecy.   (wrong, courts can and have)

The 2010 Census is important. The federal government uses census data to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds annually for programs and services such as education, housing and community development, health care services for the elderly and more.

In addition, state, local and tribal governments use data for planning and allocating funds for public building construction, highway safety and public transportation systems, location of police and fire departments, and many other projects. Community organizations use census information to develop social service programs, senior lunch programs and child-care centers.

Population counts also determine congressional apportionment — the number of seats each state will have in the House of Representatives — and states use the data to allocate seats in their state legislatures. (yes, again this is the one and only thing it is supposed to do)

In April, the Decennial Census will take a snapshot of everyone residing in the United States, regardless of age, race or immigration status, delivering accurate information about our diverse and growing population. What we learn from this new portrait of American will transform what we know about ourselves.

They close with – Did you know?

• Accurate census data reflecting changes in your community are crucial in apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and deciding how more than $400 billion per year is allocated for projects like schools, new hospitals, job training centers, roads and other infrastructure.

• Residents themselves and community organizations have used census data to support community initiatives involving environmental legislation, quality-of-life issues and consumer advocacy. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more.

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