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New York Teacher

New York TeacherHighlights from the April 14 issue of New York Teacher:

Harsh state budget sets stage for city funding battles: Mayor still calling for layoffs, while Silver cites other options
City schools will get a total funding cut of $510 million next year under the most austere state budget in more than a decade. The cut is the third to education in as many years, as the recession’s aftermath continues to pressure state budgets around the country. Just what the state budget cuts mean for New York City remains in sharp dispute.

Fight to the finish
With a harsh state budget settled, the city budget battle is now heating up, including the education budget. Members throughout the five boroughs participated in an array of different actions to prevent layoffs and save school funding for the city’s kids.

Solace in a strange land: Arab teens find nurturing figure in amazing paraprofessional
Teenagers who come to the United States with interrupted formal education, different customs and an alphabet and language that have little in common with English are settling in with help from their paraprofessional at Brooklyn’s MS 2.

Mayor’s day care cuts hurt providers and kids
Low-income, working parents and the family child care providers who take care of their kids were dealt a heavy blow when Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut child care subsidies for more than 16,500 New York City children, the single largest cut to city funding for child care since the 1970s.

UFT to Council: Help us help New York
At an early-morning briefing for City Council members on March 23, the UFT called on the city’s elected leaders to oppose teacher layoffs, restore day care slots and ensure school safety as they negotiate amendments to the mayor’s 2012 budget.

Manhattan principal under investigation for smearing chapter leader
Principal Ron Smolkin’s relations with staff at Manhattan’s Independence HS were always frosty, teachers say. But they turned arctic last spring after the school’s faculty leadership team made a series of ambitious recommendations on safety, teaching, guidance, consensus and collegiality.

UFT’s S.I. Hospital nurses agree to on-time contract: Three-year pact includes raises, no givebacks
A looming strike by the UFT Federation of Nurses chapter at Staten Island University Hospital’s south site was averted after management agreed on March 31 to what members there widely tout as an excellent contract. Members voted virtually unanimously for the new three-year agreement, which contained no givebacks and a substantial wage increase.

Fourth annual Early Childhood Conference: Workshops help 500 participants get to the ‘Core’ of learning
If the spirit of 500 avid participants is any barometer, then the fourth annual UFT all-day Early Childhood Conference must have broken a record for the range and appeal of its professional development attractions. “Getting to the Core,” the title for the March 26 conference, included 15 workshops that were geared to exactly that.

Well red: UFTers show union pride in their dress and their words
UFTers proudly donned red on March 22 to show their solidarity with educators in Wisconsin and other states across the country who are under unprecedented attack. They also responded enthusiastically to the call from EduSolidarity, started by teacher-bloggers, for essays on the theme, “Why Teachers Like Me Support Unions.”

Special complaints: What to do if you are being harassed by a supervisor
Unfortunate though it is, at times UFT members report being harassed or subjected to intimidation by their supervisors. These acts of intimidation may take many forms, which is why it is important that you contact the union for help. You do not have to — nor should you — tolerate such harassment or acts of intimidation.