North Middle School
One of the most dynamic speakers at this year’s RA was New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. He is and has always been a true friend to NYSUT. Tom began by thanking the NYSUT leadership, local presidents, and all of us who make a difference. He reminded and encouraged us that we must continue to inspire and educate. DiNapoli has made many enemies in Albany and among Gov. Cuomo’s friends because he has examined how charter schools spend taxpayer’s money. “To me, it’s always been common sense to demand the same level of transparency and accountability from charter schools as we do from every other school receiving public dollars,” DiNapoli told RA delegates Saturday. This was meet with much applause.
He promised to continue to invest in higher education. Through both the CUNY and SUNY programs.
Another important topic to the delegates was that of our pension. He explained and elaborated on the strong health of the NYSUT members’ state pension plans. The funds earnings have bounced back so much since the economic downturn that the state has been able to reduce its contribution significantly. “You are part of well-run and well-funded pension plans,” he said. “That’s the reality... there is simply no reason to replace the defined-benefit pension system with defined contributions through 401K programs. I will continue to fight!”
At the conclusion to his speech he exited the hall with shouts of “Tom for Governor!” I have heard him speak before. He has always been dynamic and has always advocated for teachers and education in New York State.