At the IAC Board of Directors meeting this morning there was a discussion about the Education Town Hall Rally and the large numbers of staff from our education providers that want to attend the event. I am really happy to report that our Board of Directors over whelming voted to authorize the additional funds so that we have now secured the large auditorium at the CUNY Graduate Center. The Harold M. Polshansky Auditorium on the concourse level holds almost 400 people.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO INVITE ALL OF YOUR SCHOOL STAFF THAT WANT TO ATTEND TO COME TO THE TOWN HALL RALLY ON MONDAY AFTERNOON. We are expecting a number of elected officials to be in attendance as well as the media.
Let’s make sure we fill the large auditorium and send a message about the importance of our schools to all of the children and families who depend on them each day!
We hope to see everyone on Monday afternoon at the Rally
The Town Hall/ Rally will take place on Monday June 25th at 4pm at the CUNY Graduate Center – 34th Street and 5th Avenue in the Harold M. Polshansky Auditorium on the concourse level (new, larger auditorium).
This Rally will be the first in a what we hope are a series of COPA state-wide events to continue our advocacy on behalf of our education providers. At the Town Hall/Rally we will celebrate our teachers, teachers assistants, and administrators thanking them for all of the great work that has been done this year on behalf of our children and families. (We plan on having a photo montage set to music to show the children and staff from our schools)
After we highlight all of the amazing things our schools do every day for the children we will issue a warning that these wonderful programs can all go away! We will educate the elected officials and those in attendance that it is already happening – school are closing!
We may show the Arnold Diaz news story highlighting the need for preschool special education seats in NYC. We will educate elected officials, the media, and those in attendance about the crisis facing our 4410 and 853 schools and the impact on the children and families who depend on these critical services. We plan to present the data from our most recent COPA Teacher and Teacher Assistant Survey as well as other data that IAC has collected on fiscal losses, teacher turnover rates and salary disparities. We will also discuss potential legal actions that may be considered. We will invite some parents and staff from our schools to speak as well as part of the celebration and also to express concerns about our warning.
We need your assistance to make this event successful and to have a heartfelt celebration of our staff and children. The following is a list of actions we are asking our schools to take:
- Please send me any photos that you have of your children, staff interacting with your children. This could include special events or just simple pictures of your children at school every day. Please be sure to send pictures of both preschool and school-age children as well as your staff interacting with the children. Please be sure to have a signed parental consent for the photos and keep in mind that the photos could be filmed as we anticipate have news media in attendance – Arnold Diaz has been invited. I need you to send these to me as soon as possible.
- We are asking all of our education providers to send us a registration list of everyone from your school - staff and parents who will be attending the event. Please send this list no later than June 19th at 4pm.
- Please let us know as soon as possible if you have parents or staff that would be willing to speak at the Town Hall/Rally. Please identify if they are from your 4410 or 853 program. Please keep in mind that we will need to limit the number of parent and staff who speak so not everyone you send to us will have an opportunity to speak that day.
- We are also asking you to identify parents and staff who would be willing to speak with the news media. Please let us know if they are from your 4410 or 853 programs.
- Please let us know if you have any parents/staff that would be willing to volunteer to assist at the event.
- If you have creative staff at the school please send us your ideas for chants or rally songs set to children’s music.
We will be supplying buttons, posters and t-shirts that will all have the “Our Kids are Your Kids” logo.
It is critical that we get as many parents and staff to attend this very important Town Hall/Rally as possible.
If you have any additional questions about the event please feel free to send an email to me.
Thanks again for all of your support this year!
Associate Executive Director for Children's Services
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, Inc.
On Wednesday, May23rd, WPIX 11 ran a news story on Preschool Special Education.
Arnold Diaz did a fantastic job presenting the urgency of the issue and he made the point loud and clear that the situation is a crisis.
But this is just the start of our advocacy - we must build from this story.