Defending Public Education is our unified mission

Date Posted: 
Saturday, January 14, 2017

Long Island Teachers is an organization of 120 Teachers Unions across Long Island. We are charged with many tasks and each community and their school district is unique but our organization shares a few common goals. We are dedicated to our profession and we encourage young people and those considering second careers to consider becoming teachers. Teaching is a noble and often thankless and misunderstood profession, and currently our nation is facing a teacher shortage.

We believe in providing high quality education for all students, regardless of where they live. Long Island has the best public schools in the nation, and it is because of the 60,000 educators who call your local school their workplace. Teaching is more than a job, it's a way of life and for many educators it is a passion. Long Island Teachers are also dedicated to the never ending task of defending public education from misguided privatization schemes and profit-driven outside interests. At the time of print, our profession is under attack at a national level and we fear that federal funding to our schools is in grave danger.
Betsy DeVos has been selected to be our nations next Education Secretary in Washington, DC. DeVos has a long history of working against public education. She has been a strong advocate for the expansion of charter schools and school voucher programs. Both of these programs bleed money away from public schools and give them to private institutions that operate with little to no systems of accountability and checks and balances. Devos' commitment to charter schools led her to build the failed Detroit Charter School system were 8 in 10 charter schools failed to meet the state averages with steady declines in enrollment. Even in the face of failure, DeVos lobbied for the state to expand charter schools that were deemed failing. 
DeVos also was on the board of Foundation for Excellence in Education which was one of the main organizations that wrote the controversial profit driven Common Core education standards. DeVos has also come out against teachers having a voice on the job through their union. This attitude should concern us all. An educator's right to bargain is in jeopardy and so is our ability to advocate for our students. Many teachers stick their necks out to help a struggling child; their union protects them from retaliation from a sometimes hostile school administrator. We will be doing everything necessary to preserve our right to bargain for our profession and advocate for our students.
We should all be proud of our schools, proud of the students and the many dedicated parents who make our schools the best in the nation and as our PSA's and ads state: We are Long Island, Teacher Leaders in the Community. 

This editorial will run in Anton Newspapers Profile's in Education section in the Farmingdale Observer, Garden City Life, Glen Cove Record Pilot, Great Neck Record, Hicksville News, Levittown Tribune, LONG ISLAND WEEKLY, Manhasset Press, Massapequa Observer, Mineola American, New Hyde Park Illustrated News, Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot, Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, Port Washington News, The Roslyn News, Syosset Jericho Tribune and The Westbury Times.