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Resolution on Montgomery/Weprin Bill to Modify the PEP

February 4, 2013 am28 8:23 am

I motivated the following resolution at the January 22 UFT Exec Board. Three Unity members rose to speak against it (cutting short the work of the UFT committee on School Governance was the strongest of three weak reasons. Claiming that we only get one chance to get it right was another – this is our third chance, guys.). Strike while the iron is hot, I say. Every day that the mayor’s dictatorial powers go unchallenged is an affront to students, teachers, parents, real educators across this city. But the resolution was defeated, New Action yes, Unity no, five to sixty-something.

There is a fuller discussion at the New Action website.

Resolution to support
the Velmonette Montgomery / David Weprin proposal
on New York City Public School Governance

Whereas, the current system of governance of New York City’s public schools gives the mayor unfettered control of the Panel for Educational Policy, allowing him an absolute majority of eight on the panel, and the power to remove his own appointees if they intend to vote as they see fit rather than as the Mayor directs, which power he has in fact abused, and

Whereas, such unfettered control leads to the Mayor unilaterally imposing educational decisions, without discussion from stakeholders, including teachers and parents, being considered, and

Whereas our voices are being ignored at the same time as our conditions in the schools are degrading, and

Whereas the United Federation of Teachers School Governance Committee has been reconvened, in part, to address the lack of checks and balances, and

Whereas Velmonette Montgomery and David Weprin have introduced legislation in the New York State Senate and Assembly, respectively, that would reduce the number of the Mayor’s appointees on the Panel for Education Policy from an absolute majority of eight out of thirteen to a relative majority of four out of thirteen.

Be it therefore RESOLVED that the United Federation of Teachers supports the legislation introduced by Senator Montgomery and Assemblyman Weprin, and be it further

Resolved the UFT will offer assistance in moving the legislation forward in Albany, and be it further

Resolved that the UFT School Governance Committee will continue to meet until its charge is complete, or until such time as a better governance system has been selected.

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