Chapter Leader Update, FRIDAY THE 13TH of October

This Week’s Focus

UFT files lawsuit to stop charter certification shortcut

The UFT and NYSUT filed a lawsuit on Oct. 12 to prevent the weakening of teacher certification standards after the SUNY Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee voted the previous day to allow some charter schools to create their own in-house teacher certification programs with watered-down standards. At a press conference outside state Supreme Court in Manhattan, UFT President Michael Mulgrew denounced the SUNY committee’s vote to change certification standards, calling it a blatant violation of state education law. The new regulations will allow charter schools authorized by SUNY, including Success Academy charter schools, to design their own teacher certification process, bypassing the far more stringent process required of all other public school teachers under state education law. Mulgrew characterized the committee’s motivations as a “scheme” coming from “pressure from the outside,” alluding to the deep-pocketed charter lobby. “This should not be about politics,” he said. “This is about using public dollars to educate all our children.” Read the full article on the UFT website.

Share photos of members at the Strides walk and wearing pink to raise awareness of breast cancer

Thanks to everyone who signed up to participate in the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk this Sunday, Oct. 15. Please use the hashtag #StridesUFT when posting photos on Twitter and Instagram during the walk. Send a group photo (large size, with caption information) to uftphotos@gmail.com for the union’s Facebook album. We’re also encouraging members to wear pink to school on Wednesday, Oct. 18, to build chapter unity and demonstrate commitment to fighting breast cancer. Take photos of members wearing pink and post them on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UFTgopink. Send your best one or two photos (large size, with caption information) that same day to uftphotos@gmail.com for the UFT’s Facebook and website photo albums.

UFT launches TV ad campaign celebrating public schools’ accomplishments

We know you’re proud of the work you do as educators. And you have every reason to be. Thanks to you, New York City public schools have their highest graduation rate ever, a record number of students enrolled in college-level courses and more computer science, music and art classes than ever before. The UFT is committed to fighting for the working conditions, professional voice and resources you need to make a difference. Together, we’re moving our schools forward. Our new television ad celebrating our public schools is airing from Oct. 10–20. With challenges looming in the year ahead from powerful forces looking to take away your hard-earned rights and benefits, it’s more important than ever that we stand together as UFT members in support of the amazing work we do. Together, we are making history. Together, we are #PublicSchoolProud. View our Making a Difference Together TV ad.

Follow UFT divisions and departments on Twitter

The UFT is on Twitter at @UFT. But did you know various UFT divisions and departments are also on Twitter? To get the latest news and information, you can follow the UFT elementary schools division @UFT_Elementary; the UFT middle schools division @UFTMS_Division; the UFT high schools division @UFTTeamHS ; the UFT Bronx borough office @BBOUFT; the UFT Brooklyn borough office @UFT_BKOffice; the UFT Manhattan borough office @UFT_MBO; the Staten Island borough office @SI_UFT ; the UFT’s special education department at @UFTSPEDVP; the UFT safety & health department at @UFTSafety; the UFT Paraprofessionals Chapter @UFTParas ; representatives from UFT District 75 @D75uft; the New York City Community Learning Schools team at @NYCCLS and the UFT Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff at @UFTACTS.

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Your Chapter Leader Checklist

  • New Looking for an old item in the Chapter Leader Update? There is an archive of prior Chapter Leader Updates in the chapter leader section (you must be logged in to access it) of the UFT website. We won’t be repeating old items as often in an effort to keep the Update shorter.
  • Free flu shots at the Oct. 18 Delegate Assembly: Delegates can receive a free flu shot at the Delegate Assembly on Wednesday. The vaccinations, which will be administered by WorkWell NYC, will be available to all delegates who are in-service employees or pre-Medicare retirees who have a New York City health plan.
  • Use professional conciliation to resolve professional differences in schools: What teacher, school counselor, social worker or school psychologist hasn’t had to confront a professional disagreement with a supervisor? Professional conciliation provides a mechanism — a professional space — for attaining a win-win solution that might otherwise remain out of reach. Professional conciliation allows the voice of educators to be heard. The UFT–DOE contracts outline the process available to teachers, school counselors, social workers and psychologists when a professional disagreement arises. For teachers, professional conciliation can take place when there is a difference in professional judgment concerning curriculum mandates, program offerings and scheduling. For school counselors, professional conciliation can be sought when there is a difference in professional judgment concerning the procedures for evaluating individual students. For school social workers and psychologists, professional conciliation can be sought when there is a professional difference concerning a policy or procedure related to locally devised student testing procedures and the appraisal methodology of a Committee on Special Education, a Clinical Service Unit or a superintendent. You can find more information about professional conciliation and the new online forms to request a conciliator in the chapter leader section of the UFT website (you must be logged in to access it). You can also read the union’s new professional conciliation manual for chapter leaders.
  • Guidance on school handbooks: As a result of a Public Employment Relations Board case brought by the UFT, the Department of Education issued instructions in January to principals about the use of school handbooks. While school handbooks may be used to remind members about certain provisions of the contract or chancellor’s regulations, handbooks cannot change or contradict these provisions and handbooks cannot create new terms and conditions of employment. For example, handbooks may not establish a staff dress code or require that staff submit medical documentation when taking a self-treated day. In addition, members can be asked to sign and acknowledge only receipt of a copy of the school handbook — not that they agree with or have familiarized themselves with its contents. For more information, read the DOE’s school handbook notice that appeared in the Jan. 18, 2017 Principal’s Weekly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your district rep.
  • Use our school consultation committee summary tool to stay on track: Principals are required to meet with their school’s UFT consultation committee once a month, according to Article 19, Section H3 of the UFT-DOE contract. As you prepare to hold your first meeting with your principal, we wanted to let you know about a new resource we’ve created to help you stay on track and to ensure that your district representative can support you as effectively as possible. You can fill out the UFT’s new online Consultation Summary Form  (you must be logged in to the UFT website) to report resolved and unresolved issues at your school to your UFT district rep. When you fill out the form, you will be emailed a summary of your school consultation committee meeting that you can share with members of your chapter. The form also lists possible topics for discussion, which may be useful to you when creating your meeting agenda. Your district rep will receive a copy of each summary form you submit. Your district rep, after checking with you, may add your school’s unresolved issues to the agenda for his or her consultation meeting with your school district’s superintendent. Reach out to your district representative if you need help forming a UFT consultation committee at your school or if you are encountering any issues with consultation, including a principal’s refusal to meet with your committee.
  • Register for Chapter Leader Training, Part 1: Chapter Leader Training, Part 1, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. This training is open to new chapter leaders as well as any chapter leaders who have not attended the training in 5 years or more. We recommend that you attend all three sessions, but each session can be attended independently. The registration deadline has been extended but rooms are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register online. For more information, call 212-598-7747 or email cltraining@uft.org.
  • Donate new coats or winter clothing for homeless students: Help take the chill out of winter for homeless children in our city’s schools by donating new winter gear in the fourth annual clothing drive organized by the UFT Middle School Division. The UFT is asking chapter leaders to organize a clothing drive in their schools to collect new winter coats and accessories, such as sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves and hats. We can only accept new articles of clothing. The garments may range in size from toddler to adult. Chapter leaders can bring donations to the Oct. 18 or Nov. 18 Delegate Assembly. You can also drop off donations at a UFT borough office or at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 14th floor. For questions, contact Mika Charles at MCharles@uft.org. For more information, see the How About Some Giving on Thanksgiving? flier.

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Share With Your Members

How about some giving on Thanksgiving? flier

Wolf in sheep’s clothing poster about constitutional convention


Pay chart


Your Guide to the Teacher Development and Evaluation System
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You Should Know

Certification

New LearnUFT offers CTLE courses: During the five-year period starting on July 1, 2016, professionally certified teachers and Level III certified paraprofessionals are required to collect a total of 100 professional development hours. You now have to keep your own records. As a state-approved provider of CTLE hours, the UFT has launched LearnUFT, which is offering low-cost professional learning opportunities specifically designed to meet our members’ needs. The UFT will also do the recordkeeping for you of courses you take through LearnUFT, a service that no one else is providing. Go to LearnUFT on the UFT website to find out more about our elementary, middle school and high school work sessions, our work sessions for paraprofessionals, the learning opportunities for new teachers and other CTLE offerings at UFT headquarters and our five borough offices.

Community Service

Take action Make a donation to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: With the situation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands still dire in the aftermath of hurricanes, we continue to collect donations by credit card or check to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have also established locations to drop off emergency supplies to help Puerto Rico. These are the critically need items that are being collected: batteries, flashlights, first aid supplies, diapers, baby wipes, baby food and feminine hygiene products. All items must be unopened and packaged. New Yorkers are encouraged to drop off goods for donation at selected locations between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. See the list of drop-off locations.

English Language Learners

Use the UFT’s English language learner complaint form to advocate for your ELL students: The union’s English language learners complaint form is an important tool for UFT members to advocate for their English language learner students to ensure they receive the services and supports they need to succeed. You can use this form to tell us why you feel parents’ rights are not being respected or students are not receiving required educational services, especially those services required under Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154. We also want to know if educators are receiving appropriate and sufficient professional development to help serve English language learners. We ask for identifying information on this form so that a UFT liaison can follow up to verify the information directly with you, but this is a confidential complaint process. We will not share your name or any information with administrative, supervisory or managerial staff in the Department of Education without your consent. Find more helpful information to support your ELL students in the English language learners section of the UFT website.

Evaluation

New Initial Planning Conference should take place by Oct. 27: You should meet with your supervisor (evaluator) no later than Oct. 27 to discuss your approach to instruction and your professional contributions to the school community. To prepare for this meeting, you should 1) review your overall rating from 2016–17 and be prepared to discuss specific areas of your teaching with your supervisor; 2) develop a working knowledge of the students in your classes including the need for any differentiation; and 3) decide your preferred observation model and whether you want to be videotaped for your evaluation.

Consult the UFT’s new guide to teacher evaluation: We know that teachers, both veteran and those new to the profession, sometimes have start-of-year questions about teacher evaluation. That’s why we created a new guide. Your Guide to the Teacher Development and Evaluation System  explains the multiple-measure system the UFT negotiated with the DOE that allows for a holistic assessment of a teacher’s contribution to the progress students make. This comprehensive resource takes you through the timelines and the steps teachers need to take to start the year off right. It provides definitions for the commonly used terms and tips to prepare teachers throughout the school year. For further useful information, read the Know Your Rights column on evaluation in the New York Teacher  and see the teacher evaluation section of the UFT website.

Health and Safety

New  Review Welfare Fund benefits information: Make sure to take a look at the UFT Welfare Fund Health Benefits Checkup special pullout section in the Oct. 5 issue of the New York Teacher. This publication has tips on how to access and maximize your UFT member health benefits.

New  Herb and dietary supplement safety seminar: Members are invited to attend “Herb and Dietary Supplement Safety,” a seminar on alternative health modalities presented by the UFT Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series. Speaker Gary Deng, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist with the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will discuss the proper use of herbs and dietary supplements and how you can experience potential benefits while avoiding harm. This event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 9 at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 3rd floor, room 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. To register, call Christine Jittan at 212-539-0667. For a full list of events, see the 2017 Welfare Fund medical learning series flier.

New Air-quality study for elementary schools: Elementary schools can participate in a study conducted by the CUNY School of Public Health to investigate the association between indoor air quality and teachers’ health. The study, which has been approved by the DOE, will measure temperature, carbon dioxide level and relative humidity in 20 elementary schools. Classroom teachers in participating schools will be asked to keep a brief activity log and complete a short online questionnaire. The study is limited to teachers of 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. You will need your principal’s permission to participate in the study. The application deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 31. For more information and to apply, see the Air Quality Monitoring Study flier.

Attend a sustainability coordinator training session: All UFT members are invited to attend a sustainability coordinator training session to learn how to develop and implement sustainability initiatives in their schools. As a sustainability coordinator, you are the first line of action in your school. Participants can receive CTLE hours for attending a training session. Here is the full training schedule. You can register online using this registration form.

Impending deadlines for switching health or dental plans: The DOE’s open enrollment for city health plans for in-service members takes place throughout October. If a change is requested, the new health plan takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018. The UFT Welfare Fund dental plan transfer period ends on Sunday, Oct. 15. If a change is requested, the new dental plan takes effect on Nov. 1.

How to manage grief and loss: Have you experienced a difficult loss in the last year? The UFT’s Member Assistance Program (MAP) offers counseling groups to assist you in managing your grief and adjusting to the loss of a family member, significant other, friend or colleague. Fall, winter and the 2018 spring sessions are scheduled on Thursdays, from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., beginning in October at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway. To register for a session, email mapinfo@uft.org  or call 212-701-9620. Enrollment is limited so register ASAP. Here is the How to Manage Grief and Loss flier with session dates.

New Teachers

New member meet-and-greets: We want new teachers to know that the UFT is here to support them. Teachers with 1-3 years on the job are encouraged to attend a new member meet-and-greet with UFT President Michael Mulgrew. These meetings are taking place in every borough this fall. Register online for the Staten Island event on Thursday, Oct. 26; the Bronx event on Thursday, Nov. 2; and the Manhattan meet-and-greet on Thursday, Nov. 9.

New teacher support and information groups:  The UFT Member Assistance Program and the UFT Teacher Center invite new teachers to attend a series of professional learning opportunities. New teachers will gain knowledge about our union, our benefits and our profession. They will meet their peers through a supportive network. These groups are intended for members with one to three years of service. All meetings will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway on the 19th floor. Refreshments will be served. Members can view the session topics and register online on the UFT website. Two CTLE hours will be available for five of the seven sessions, so carefully review the registration information. Space is limited, with each session capped at 50 members, so new teachers should register as soon as possible to secure a spot. See the Member Assistance Program Fall 2017 New Teacher Sessions flier for more information.

Opportunities

New Join the UFT Pride committee: The UFT’s LGBT committee has been relaunched as the UFT Pride committee. All members are invited to join the committee, which focuses on issues such as tolerance and diversity in the workplace and the new DOE guidelines for transgender and gender nonconforming students as well as larger issues that face the LGBT community. UFT members are invited to attend the first UFT Pride Committee meeting of the year on Friday, Oct. 20, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters. Joseph Milizio, of Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP Attorneys at Law, will present on important legal information on LGBTQ rights. Future Pride committee events will be listed under Professional Committees.

New Scholarships for labor studies:  UFT members who are interested in pursuing labor studies at the Murphy Institute of the City University of New York are invited to apply for a Diversity Scholarship to promote diversity and excellence in union leadership and in labor studies. Recipients of this scholarship will receive up to $30,000. See the CUNY website for details about the Murphy Institute or read about the Diversity Scholarship. To learn more about the institute’s graduate-level labor studies programs, UFT members are invited to attend an information session on Thursday, Nov. 9 or Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. To register for an information session, contact Laurie Kellogg at 212-642-2055 or at Laurie.Kellogg@cuny.edu.

$20,000 grants to help union members buy homes: The AFT has forged a partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, a local nonprofit, to provide down-payment assistance to help UFT members make homeownership a reality with the NeighborhoodLIFT® program. NeighborhoodLIFT is offering $20,000 grants to assist with a down payment on a home for union members in the boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. Additional benefits are available for eligible military personnel, veterans and surviving spouses. To find out if you are eligible for this grant, register to attend a NeighborhoodLIFT event on Friday, Nov. 3, or Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, at the Brooklyn Expo Center Ballroom, 72 Noble St. in Brooklyn. Admission is free, but online registration is strongly recommended to secure your chance to meet one on one with a Wells Fargo professional to determine your eligibility. Although limited free parking is available at the Expo Center’s lot, you are encouraged to take public transportation. Note that registration is to attend the event; it is not an application for the grant.

Our Functional Chapters


2017 outstanding paraprofessional awards:
 You are invited to nominate a paraprofessional who has made outstanding contributions to the school, community and union. These activities can include community involvement in church or youth groups, volunteer work or any union-related activities such as phone banks, rallies or political action. Any UFT member can submit a nomination; however, paraprofessionals cannot nominate themselves. The nomination deadline is Thursday, Nov. 16. For more information and to submit a nomination, see the online nomination form.

Functional chapters on the UFT website:  If you are a functional chapter member — a school counselor, social worker or school secretary, for example — you can find information tailored to your needs on the UFT website. Nearly 20 functional chapters have their own sections, which offer important resources, chapter news, contact information for chapter representatives, contract details and more. To view the full lineup of the UFT website’s functional chapter sections, hover your mouse over Our Chapters in the top navigation of the homepage or go to the Our Chapters section.

Political Action

Pick up car magnets, lawn signs or buttons to fight constitutional convention: We need to spread the word far and wide about the dangers of a constitutional convention and the importance of casting a NO vote on Nov. 7. UFT borough offices are being restocked with more Vote NO car magnets, lawn signs and buttons. Call first to be sure the item you want is available.

Text messages from the UFT: Text messages are a powerful way for the union to communicate with members about weather emergencies/school cancellations, political campaigns and other important news and events. If you aren’t already receiving text messages from the UFT, please text “UFT” to 30644 or use our online signup form.

Professional Learning Opportunities

LEGO® education symposium: Educators in elementary and middle schools are invited to attend a day of engaging, hands-on workshops presented by LEGO® Education. The symposium, taking place at UFT headquarters, will focus on bringing STEM, coding and robotics to life in the classroom. The symposium is free, but no CTLE hours will be offered. Participants, who will attend two workshops of their choice, will discover how the LEGO® Education building and coding experience can help students learn STEM concepts and applications while developing their 21st-century skills. The conference will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at 52 Broadway in Manhattan. Online registrationis required.

Register for fall UFT high school workshops: High school teachers who wish to upgrade their teaching skills are invited to attend workshops in the UFT’s fall high school workshop series. The registration fee is $30. Participants will receive two CTLE hours (which you need to begin collecting once you are professionally certified) for each workshop session. All workshops will be held at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, from 4 to 6 p.m. The workshops are filling up so register as soon as possible. For workshop descriptions and to register, see the  High School Workshops page on the UFT website.

Register for fall UFT elementary workshops: Elementary school teachers who wish to upgrade their teaching skills are invited to attend workshops in the UFT’s fall elementary workshop series. The fee is $10 for participants who do not request CTLE hours and $30 for participants who elect to receive CTLE hours (which you need to begin collecting once you are professionally certified). All workshops will be held on Thursdays at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, from 4 to 6 p.m. The workshops are filling up so register as soon as possible. For workshop descriptions and to register, see the Elementary School Workshops page in the LearnUFT section of the UFT website.

Register for fall UFT middle school workshops: Middle school educators are invited to attend workshops throughout the fall. Participants will receive two CTLE hours (which you need to begin collecting once you are professionally certified) for each workshop session. These workshops are open to educators who wish to upgrade their instructional skills or participate in professional dialogues concerning their career. All work sessions take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. See the Middle School Workshops page in the LearnUFT section of the UFT website for workshop dates and to register.

Recognition

Register now and support fellow members as they receive #PublicSchoolProud awards at Teacher Union Day: We hope you and your colleagues will join us this year as we celebrate the incredible work of UFT members at the union’s annual Teacher Union Day awards ceremony and reception on Sunday, Nov. 5, at the New York Hilton. This year’s event will honor chapters, members or school districts that embraced the union’s #PublicSchoolProud campaign and made it their own by sharing photos and videos on social media, hosting events and engaging in activities that showcase the work of New York City public school students and educators. Teacher Union Day includes breakfast, the awards ceremony and a reception at a cost of $50 per person. To register, fill out the online registration form and mail in a copy with your payment. Learn more about the Teacher Union Day awardson the UFT website. Let’s celebrate and publicize the hard work we do to keep the union strong.

Salary and Personnel

New DOE parking permits effective Nov. 1: Members in schools with approved DOE parking spots who were issued temporary parking permits last spring should have renewed their parking permits through the DOE’s self-service portal by Thursday, Oct. 12. The new permit takes effect on Nov. 1, which is when the current temporary permits expire. The DOE will continue to accept renewal applications, but there is no guarantee that the permits will arrive by Nov. 1.

Apply for a spring 2018 study sabbatical by Oct. 24: Eligible teachers who want to study to enhance their teaching skills may request a study sabbatical leave for the spring 2018 semester. For study sabbaticals, coursework must be rigorous and related to your teaching assignment. The DOE’s deadline to apply for a sabbatical is Tuesday, Oct. 24. See the DOE personnel memorandum for sabbatical deadlines and guidelines. All applications must be submitted on the DOE’s Self-Service Online Leave Application Service (SOLAS). See the UFT website’s sabbaticals section for more information about sabbatical leaves.

Lump-sum payments in October paychecks: In-service teachers, other pedagogues and paraprofessionals received their lump-sum payment as part the Oct. 16 paycheck. The Department of Education took down the payroll portal earlier this week to deal with incorrect deduction information. The information has been corrected, and the payroll portal is back online. For nurses, therapists and other members who are paid on the H-Bank payroll, the lump-sum money will be in the Oct. 20 check. Per-diem and per-session payments will be issued on Nov. 2. If a member is on leave this October, the member will receive the payment on the date of the next scheduled payment when the member is back on payroll. Newer members also will be receiving a lump-sum payment since the 8 percent rate increase all members should have received is being phased in. TDAs will be updated, along with all other payroll contributions and deductions. See this handy pay chart to learn more about the salary increases and lump-sum payments you will receive as a result of the 2014 UFT–DOE contract.

Special Education

Weigh in on the new special education manual: The DOE has revised its Special Education Operating Procedures Manual (on the DOE Employee Intranet). Up-to-date information about the DOE’s policies and procedures regarding special education is finally available in one place. Check out the “new and notable” page at the beginning of the manual to find out about its major changes. The new manual is a “living” document that can be updated as needed, and the DOE is open to working with the UFT to get this document right, both in terms of its usability and its content. If you work with students with disabilities, please let us know what you think about the new format or if you have any questions or concerns. Please use this online form to provide feedback on the manual. We will bring your comments to the DOE’s attention.

Teaching and Learning

New Webinars on timely topics: The AFT’s Share My Lesson website has PD webinars about topics that are coming up in conversations with students across the country. When Hate is in the Headlines covers the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and traces the history of white supremacy. Teachers can also learn about the rights of immigrant students post-DACA or view a two-part lesson on identity, race and the classroom. Registration is free for these webinars. You can find more lessons and webinars on the Share My Lesson website.
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This Week in Education and Labor News

Missouri right-to-work vote pushed to 2018: The Missouri Supreme Court on Oct. 5 declined to  hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that would allow a ballot question on whether voters wanted a right-to-work law, reports STLtoday.com. The decision derails a last-ditch effort backed by the National Right to Work Foundation to make Missouri a right-to-work state. Unions including the Missouri AFL-CIO contend the law is anti-worker and successfully blocked its implementation until a vote is held in 2018.

Connecticut union sues to block education cuts: Connecticut’s largest teachers union on Oct. 11 filed a lawsuit to block state Gov. Dannel P. Malloy from cutting education funding, reports the Stamford Advocate. The Connecticut Education Association, along with three municipalities, is seeking an injunction to stop $557 million in funding cuts to 157 municipalities, arguing Malloy doesn’t have the authority to make such reductions. Donald Williams, the union’s executive director, says the communities threatened with funding losses have already suffered huge cuts.

California eliminates exit exam: California Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 10 signed legislation to permanently repeal the state’s high school graduation examination requirement, according to the L.A. Times. The test was suspended in 2015 after state officials said it wasn’t aligned with recently adopted Common Core learning standards. The suspension allowed some 32,000 students who failed the test as far back as 2004 to receive diplomas, as long as they had completed their other coursework. Education officials told lawmakers this year that new, more thorough assessment tools are now in place that have made the exit exam obsolete.

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Events Calendar

Featured Events

Sunday, Oct. 15: The Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk will take place in all five boroughs and Long Island. Sign up online to participate in one of the walks.

Sunday, Nov. 5: Join us as we honor UFT leaders past and present at Teacher Union Day at the New York Hilton Midtown. Register online. For more details, see the item in Recognition.

This Week

Saturday, Oct. 14: The UFT’s second annual conference for English language learnerswill be held from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway. Registration has closed.

Monday, Oct. 16-Thursday, Oct. 19: The Manhattan UFT office invites members to join in its phone banking from 4 to 7 p.m. at 52 Broadway, 10th floor. Dinner will be served. For more information, call Briget Rein at 212-598-6800 or you may email her at BRein@uft.org.

Monday, Oct. 16: The Asian American Heritage Committee will hold its monthly meeting at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 17: The social workers and psychologists executive board meeting will be held at UFT headquarters, 50 Broadway, 2nd floor, room B, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 18: The Delegate Assembly will take place at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor, from 4:15 to 6 p.m. Delegates are reminded to wear pink to raise awareness about breast cancer and to bring their donations of new winter coats and accessories for homeless students. Free flu shots will be offered as well.

Thursday, Oct. 19: Teachers with 1-3 years of service are invited to attend the workshop “Are You Asking the Right Questions?” Participants will gain valuable questioning strategies to promote students’ thinking and learning; learn what constitutes quality questioning and effective discussion in order to actively engage students in productive discourse; and understand how to create structures so that all students are able to answer and ask quality questions. This event will be held at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, from 4 to 6 p.m. Register online.

Thursday, Oct. 19: Bronx-based members are invited to “Baby on the Way,” a workshop to get answers to all maternity and leave questions. This event will take place at the Bronx UFT office, 2500 Halsey St., rear entrance, from 4 to 6 p.m. This workshop is not for women only. For more information, see the Baby on the Way flierRegister online.

Thursday, Oct. 19: Manhattan-based members are invited to a maternity workshop to get information about maternity and leave. This event will be held at the UFT’s Manhattan borough office, 52 Broadway, 10th floor, from 4 to 6 p.m. School nurses and occupational and physical therapists should not attend this workshop. If you are a school nurse or an occupational or physical therapist, contact Myra Entenberg for an appointment. For additional information, call 212-598-6800. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, see the Maternity Leave Workshop flierRegister online.

Thursday, Oct. 19: Queens-based paraprofessional representatives are invited to a paraprofessional representative training from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Queens UFT office, 97-77 Queens Blvd., Rego Park. This event will feature giveaways, and representatives from the Paraprofessionals Chapter will be on hand to answer any questions you have. For more information, see the Paraprofessional representative training flierRegister online. The deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 13.

Thursday, Oct. 19: Paraprofessionals are invited to attend “Communication that Enhances Professional Collaboration,” a workshop in which participants will examine their own communication preferences and how that influences their interactions with colleagues. This event will take place at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office, 335 Adams St., from 4 to 6 p.m. There is a nonrefundable fee of $10 for non-CTLE credit attendees and a fee of $15 for CTLE credits. Registration for this event has closed. For more information, see the Communication that Enhances Professional Collaboration flier.

Save the date

Tuesday, Nov. 7: Election Day. Vote No on the constitutional convention. Visit the UFT website for the list of UFT-endorsed candidates.

For more events, go to uft.org/calendar.

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New on UFT.org

Testimony: Testimony regarding the proposed teacher certification compliance regulations

Press Release: UFT position against proposed charter teacher certification regulations

Photo Gallery: New Member Meet and Greet 2017 (Queens)

Parent News: Manhattan Parent Newsletter – October 2017

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Professional Committees

UFT Professional Committees offer a wide range of workshops, presentations and exchanges, enabling all members to take an active part in their professional growth. Unless indicated, meetings are at UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway. Check the lobby for exact locations. For further information contact us at 212-598-7772 or visit us online.

ATSS/UFT (Association of Teachers of Social Studies)

  • Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., fall bus tour – Asia in Staten Island. See the Asia in Staten Island flier for more information.

Capably Disabled

 NYC Association of Foreign Language Teachers

  • Saturday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., NYCAFLT/UFT Annual Professional Conference – Celebrating 20 years of promoting world languages and cultures. Workshops in Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish. Registration is $65 and capacity is limited to 250 people. Continental breakfast and waiter-served hot luncheon will be provided. Register online.

NYC Association of Teachers of Art

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