Education Tax Credit spells disaster for public education

Good morning, all.

Below is a link to the new NYSUT video on the education tax credit. The video lays out the reasons why this would be devastating for public education with information on what you can do to stop it. Please take a moment to watch if you’re not “in the know” about this proposal and share with anyone and everyone.

Proponents of private and religious education have been pushing HARD for this legislation in the last week or so, most notably the same hedge fund managers who are pro-charter, along with Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups. The groups have been running TV, radio and internet ads in heavy rotation.

There’s a good chance you’ll see a specific letter or phone-call action day in the next week (the legislative session ends next Wednesday), so keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for the time and have a good one!

-Bill Ballerine

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RTA Election Results

Thank you all for your nominations and candidacies for Building Representatives for the 2015-2016 school year. The Building Representatives are as follows:

Gracie Taudel
Christine Van Dyke
Ed O’Connor
Mike Tully
Bill Ballerine

Liza Martin
Faith Braut
KC Davan
Lisa Passudetti

Cindy Reisenauer
Renee Dawson

Jen Martini
Debbie Miller

Cherry Lane
Wendy Hock
Cortney Steffans

Mary Roemer
Erin DiFabio

Holly Quinn
Kevin McCarren​

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RTA Celebration & Retirement Dinner Thurs., June 18

Subject: RTA End of Year Celebration & Retirement Dinner
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015, 6-9pm
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Suffern, NY
Cost: $60 per person
Due: June 12, 2015
Honorees: Sue Kuzmik, Sally Rubin-Richards, Dara Santoro, Bob Wilson
Includes: Cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, appetizer, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, cash bar

Please organize your tables and send payment (checks made out to RTA) and attached form to:
Sarah Kern
Suffern High School Guidance Office
49 Viola Road
Suffern, NY 10901

We hope to see you there!

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Thank you for supporting Clarke Osborn & passing the school budget!

Thank you to all of those who supported Clarke Osborn & Joe Gravagna. While only Clarke one, we certainly have sent a loud message that the community isn’t happy about what’s been happening.

Thank you also for supporting the budget & voting NO on the field proposal.


Please support your school board in Tuesday’s vote.
The RTA PAC is endorsing the following two candidates:

Joe Gravagna
Clarke Osborn

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RTA Officer nominations due by April 27, 2015

RTA Members,

In the lead up to our next General Membership meeting, nominations for the 2015-2016 Officers positions are now open.

Building Representatives

Building Representatives are determined via the size of the RTA staff in the building. They serve a one year term, which starts on June 1st. As we know from recent developments, Building Representatives are essential to maintaining communication and organizing our group efforts within the RTA.

Suffern High School- 5 Reps
Suffern Middle School- 4 Reps
Cherry Lane- 2 Reps
Montebello- 2 Reps
R.P. Connor- 2 Reps
Sloatsburg- 1 Rep
Viola- 2 Reps

In order to nominate a candidate, the following is required:

Two individual emails addressed and sent to Ed Provanzana ( from a member in good standing with the RTA, stating the candidates name and building in which they work. No nominations will be accepted on the floor of the General Membership meeting.

Nominations for candidates for Building Representatives will be accepted by email until 12:00 P.M. on Monday, April 27th. Nominees will be contacted before the election. You may not nominate yourself for the position.

Executive Officer Positions

Executives were nominated and elected at the end of the 2014 school year. Leadership remains as is.


Elections will take place Tuesday, May 12th. The vote will be conducted using electronic balloting from A vote will only be held if your building warrants it.

Thank you for your time and participation in RTA!


Ed Provanzana

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Call Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee in a show of support TODAY!

Good morning, all.

Another day, another flurry of developments and actions.


  1. NYSUT Rally In Albany Today
  2. ACTION ITEM:  Call Ellen Jaffee in a show of support TODAY!
  3. ACTION ITEM:  Forum in Monroe tonight – get there if you can!
  4. News updates from Albany


  1. NYSUT Rally In Albany Today

NYSUT is holding an emergency rally today in Albany.  While none of us can make it, please share on Facebook/Twitter and if you know of anyone in the Capital Region who would go, let ‘em know.  It’ll be another great photo op and story in tomorrow’s paper.

2.  ACTION ITEM:  Call Ellen Jaffee in a show of support TODAY!

Local supporters of the Education Investment Tax Credit (the voucher bill) have sent out mailers attacking Ellen Jaffee (Images are attached above) and trying to pressure her with phone calls.  So, let’s call her to remind her we’ve got her back.

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee – 95th Assembly District

District Office:  845-624-4601

Albany Office:  518-455-5118

All you need to express is that you 100% support Assemblywoman Jaffee’s position on this bill.  Be clear that you are against the Education Investment Tax Credit and you urge her to continue to do the same.  Also, take the time to thank her for her continued support.

Thank you again for taking the time to call.

3. ACTION ITEM:  Forum in Monroe tonight – get there if you can!

Third, there’s the Diane Ravitch education forum tonight, 6:30-8:30 at Monroe-Woodbury HS.  For our Orange County (and beyond) members, we could really use your attendance – even with the Extended Day.  You must sign up in advance, click here to sign up.

4.  News updates from Albany

Cuomo is still demanding that any increase in state aid is tied to evaluations, thereby holding up aid runs until June…   Senate and Assembly members have pushed back against holding any state aid ‘hostage’…  Cuomo and the Senate’s plan for a commission that will decide how to change the evaluation system has run into opposition in the Assembly…  NYUST President Magee supports a commission under certain specific conditions…

That’s all for now – thanks for all you do.  Take care and have a good one!

-Bill Ballerine

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