I was pretty shocked that UFT leadership declined to join a pro-education march because they were trying to maintain a good relationship with Andrew Cuomo. To me, it feels a lot like cozying up with a scorpion. I mean, maybe it seems like a good idea at the time, but after a while you're gonna get stung.
Andrew Cuomo was the very first Democrat for whom I declined to vote. I had never heard of a Democrat whose platform entailed going after unions before. It didn't seem like a good idea to me so I voted for Green candidate Howie Hawkins. Cuomo was lucky to be running against frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic Carl Paladino that year, and seemed invulnerable for some time thereafter. His sheen is looking a little tarnished lately, but I don't buy it.
It appears, though, that UFT leadership does. After all, he's withdrawn his "principled" opposition to the millionaire's tax, and with the advent of Trump, is trying to remake himself as Bernie Sanders Lite.
I got a recent email from a friend who pointed out several things with which our newly-minted progressive governor is still not precisely supporting us:
Elimination of foundation formula that drives more funding to NYC and other high needs districts--That doesn't sound so good, does it? I'm writing this from my chronically overcrowded building, where you're lucky to make it up the stairs in time for class. We're facing massive potential federal cuts, what with Betsy and her tax credits, and I'm not at all certain how we could endure cuts from one source, let alone two.
Raising of charter cap in NYC--Haven't we got enough buildings that have dumped libraries so as to accommodate Moskowitz-branded test-prep factories? Don't enough kids pee their pants while "slamming the test," or whatever the hell it is they do in those places? Haven't we already done enough to accommodate a two-tier system where Moskowitz does whatever the hell she pleases, refuses to agree to conditions everyone else takes for granted, and then trashes us for the crime of taking and keeping every NYC kid no matter what?
More funding for charter schools statewide per student--I don't know if you've thought about where the money for that will come from, but I have no doubt it will come from us. We'll be told to do more with less. Sadly, we're already doing that. There comes a point when you end up doing less with less, and if we haven't reached it yet, it's a miracle. If Andy's our friend, and this is how our friends treat us, who needs enemies?
More funding that we have to pay for their space in NYC if DOE does not co-locate them in our public school buildings--I don't suppose I have to tell you where that money is coming from. It's preposterous and outlandish that Bill de Blasio, even with so-called mayoral control, is compelled to support charters he, and we the people who elected him, do not even want. This rule came along three years ago, and a highly-placed source in NYSUT told me that Michael Mulgrew supported it. While I haven't got the proper equipment to read Mulgrew's mind or search his soul, I can say that UFT leadership did not raise a peep in protest when this happened.
All of which would be terrible for our schools--That's true and I don't personally trust Andrew Cuomo any farther than I can throw him. It's nice that he placed his finger up to the wind and determined that people in NY are very anti-Donald Trump. But it's not hard to determine that Andrew Cuomo is a self-important, self-serving, morally bankrupt windbag who does whatever suits his relentless ambition.
Andrew Cuomo is already running for President in 2020 and will say and do anything he deems necessary to suit that goal. Nonetheless, he's still the same scorpion he was when he first ran for governor, stated he would go after unions, and pretended to be a Democrat.