Taking Action to Oppose DeVos

Thursday, January 19, 2017
A message from President Perry Fuchs
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers,
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a well-deserved break and spent some quality time with family and loved ones. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the hard work you do in making our union so great and advantageous for the children, educators, and community members of Plainedge during 2016. It was clearly your efforts that paved the way for another successful year. Whether someone took the time to write his or her elected officials or made phone calls to support our school budget, or volunteered at our many community events such as the Making Strides Walk, Wizards Basketball Game, We Make a Difference Awards or Plainedge Pride Day, the impact on the community we serve was tremendous. It is because of you, through all of our meetings, social events, and fundraisers, that the PFT has proven itself once again to be one of the strongest unions on Long Island. 
With all of our successes, there is still A LOT of work to do in 2017. The first item at hand is dealing with the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education and the potential for her to become a tremendous hindrance to our success as public educators. Although it is sometimes detrimental and unfair to judge a person by his or her prior actions, DeVos' privatization and charter-school agenda is something that we cannot ignore. The time to be active is NOW, not after the catastrophic changes are instituted. Through some collaboration with NYSUT, the PFT leadership has planned a series of actions where you will be asked to help to let our community members and elected officials know that public schools and labor unions are NOT for sale. For starters, please click on the link to sign the petition to say NO to Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.
As part of the National Day of Action, we are asking all of our members to wear RED on Thursday, January 19th to show support for public education and take lots of pictures that can be posted on social media. In conjunction with many other teachers' unions across Long Island and the Alliance To Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), we are also asking our membership to participate in a social media day of action. The PFT leadership is requesting that each one of its members change their profile picture on Twitter or Facebook to the "Protect Public Education Shield" (See below to download the image). We have also created the hashtag #PFT4PublicEd to tweet and post to Facebook along with the #ReclaimOurSchools hashtags. Some sample tweets you could use are:
  • I support public Education! #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • I want the US Secretary of Ed to be an educator! #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • DeVos would be devastating to public education! #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • Public schools are for every student. #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • I support my school! #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • NO to Betsy DeVos @SenSchumer @SenGillibrand #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • Public schools are for ALL children - support them! #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools 
  • Public schools are for every student. #PFT4PublicEd #ReclaimOurSchools
As the year moves along, please feel free to contact your building reps if you have any questions or concerns about anything going on in your building or throughout the district. Your reps will relay all messages to the PFT Council and a response to your inquiry will be provided as soon as possible. You should also visit www.plainedgeteachers.org on a weekly basis to receive news updates about events such as the National Day of Action as well as accessing important links that will allow you to continue advocating for public education and unions. In solidarity. 
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