Dear Colleagues,

As you may have already heard, the District asked us whether we would be willing to make concessions to avert some of the mid-year layoffs of teachers. We have indicated to the District that we would respond only after we reach out to you to learn the collective wisdom of teachers as to what reasonable concessions, if any, teachers would consider. Accordingly, we will soon send to you a survey and ask you to provide input on that issue. We will also address this topic at the December 17 meeting of the RTA Representative Assembly.

Thus far, we’ve participated in only one exploratory meeting with the District to learn what they are proposing. We have neither made any proposal on any concessions nor have we responded to the District’s proposal for concessions. Before responding, we need to know what our members think and are willing to do; whether the Board of Education acts to postpone their vote on these devastating mid-year cuts; whether the Superintendent does anything at all to keep his word to cut as far away from the classroom as possible; whether the Superintendent stops sparing the Central Office bureaucracy at the expense of our students and their teachers; and whether the District acknowledges that their fiscal predicament can only be fixed by ending their mismanagement of the budget and by seeking additional State aid – not just by punishing students and seeking concessions from teachers.

Teachers, parents and students remain determined in our demand that the Board of Education reject the Superintendent’s ill-conceived plan for disruptive mid-year cuts. We must show up in unprecedented numbers at this Thursday’s “Rally to Spare Our Students” (4:30 pm) and the school board meeting (6 pm). This entire week will be “RTA Solidarity Week” during which we will continue to wear red Monday through Thursday. Additionally: 

–  Monday. If you haven’t already done so, sign up to speak (262-8525) at the December 19 Board of Education meeting and send a letter to the school board <>.

– Tuesday. Let your RTA Faculty Rep know that you will definitely join us at this Thursday’s rally and school board meeting. And if you can help with sign-making, please come to Wilson Foundation Academy (200 Genesee Street), between 3pm and 6pm, to help RTA’s Action Committee. We’ll have pizza there, too.

– Wednesday. Wear the “RTA Solidarity” pin that will be provided to you by your RTA Faculty Representative. On this day, all RTA members will walk into school together in the morning and walk out together in the afternoon.

– Thursday. Continue wearing the RTA pin and the walking in and walking out together. And be sure to join us at the rally (4:30 pm) and the school board meeting (6 pm). We need everyone there and we must show up in unprecedented numbers.

– Friday. Wear black if the school board votes to approve the devastating mid-year cuts and to decimate our schools.

We hope to see you all on December 19th as we continue to advocate for our students, our colleagues and our public schools.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President