New York State United Teachers today released the following statement about the end of the 2015 legislative session:
“NYSUT thanks those courageous legislators who listened to parents and educators and then acted to put students ahead of profiteers.
“Unparalleled advocacy by impassioned educators, standing in unity with parents on behalf of students and quality public schools, laid the foundation for the Legislature to reject a toxic education agenda and begin to turn the tide on over-testing. The Legislature rejected a tax credit that would have been the most lavish tax giveaway ever for rich supporters of private schools. The cap on charter schools statewide remains unchanged. An effort to make the undemocratic tax cap permanent was beaten back, and it was improved with the addition of two new exemptions. These are significant advances.
“A number of pro-public education provisions were included in the omnibus bill, such as the establishment of an SED review committee that will be charged with ensuring state tests are age appropriate and fair for English Language Learners. The state 3-8 field tests that burden students and local school districts will be eliminated. And there was movement toward greater transparency and mitigation of the ‘gag order.’
“The battle for the future of public education is far from over. In concert with parents, NYSUT will continue to oppose over-testing, press for fair evaluations and redouble our efforts to provide students and educators, from pre-k through post-grad, with the tools they need to excel.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.