ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 13, 2017 – The New York State PTA, New York State Council of School Superintendents, New York State School Boards Association and New York State United Teachers today kicked off a statewide campaign to “show the love” to public education, inviting all New Yorkers to demonstrate individually – and through their school districts, communities and organizations – how important public schools are to society.
The non-partisan, non-political “Public School Proud” campaign is aimed at building support for public schools in the face of ongoing attacks and will complement efforts to gain more state aid for schools and build support for school budgets in May. The campaign’s kickoff is timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. Participants will be invited to show their pride and love for public schools and post on social media using the hashtag #ILovePublicSchools.
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the campaign’s components include a special website, www.nypublicschoolproud.org, which will serve as a clearinghouse for ideas, pictures and suggested opportunities for participants to demonstrate their advocacy for public schools.
“Our public schools are the foundation of our democracy and the lifeblood of our communities,” Magee said. “We must support public education; defend it against attacks; and ensure that all students have opportunities to learn and grow in neighborhood public schools.”
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the union would be encouraging elected leaders to participate in the campaign. “We will be encouraging state and local leaders to join us in ‘showing the love’ for public education by wearing buttons and proclaiming their support for public schools.”
“Our mission is to make every child’s potential a reality, and each and every day our New York schools and educators make this possible,” the PTA’s Gracemarie Rozea offered. “We are honored to stand with our great teachers to support our public schools and students. The ‘T’ in PTA matters and we all work together to support our children.”
“New York schools celebrate amazing achievements every day for our students. From art programs, to career and technical education, to our Intel and Siemens award winners, to support for our English language learners and our students with disabilities, our schools do more with less every day,” said PTA Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky. “This campaign will importantly highlight the great successes of our students and the great successes in our schools.”
NYSCOSS Executive Director Charles Dedrick said, “The Council is proud to join this effort. Our public schools are truly institutions of, by and for the people. Our mission is to educate all children, whatever their circumstance, wherever they come from, whenever they arrive.”
Campaign organizers invited other pro-education groups to join the campaign, and indicated others would be doing so in the coming weeks.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.