Support for Howie Hawkins for Governor continues to come from teachers unions across New York State. In the past few days Howie Hawkins received his 5th and 6th teacher union endorsement— Nassau County's East Williston Teachers' Association and northern Westchester County's Lakeland Federation of Teachers, which includes the towns of Yorktown, Cortland, and Putnam Valley.
Hawkins' previous teacher union endorsements have come from: Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association, Valley Central Teachers Association, Buffalo Teachers Federation, The Plainview-Old Bethpage Congress of Teachers. He also has endorsements from New York Badass Teacher Association, United Opt Out, Independent Community of Educators, Independent Commission on Public Education (ICOPE), Coalition for Public Education
Hawkins' opposition to Common Core and Race to the Top, as well as his platform to fully fund schools in an equitable manner has caught the attention of teachers and parents around the state who are distressed about the state of their schools due to high stakes testing, unworkable and narrow standards and a lack of funding.
The following is the East Williston Teacher's Association statement on their endorsement of Howie Hawkins:
We have all seen the damage that Cuomo has done to our school district by imposing an undemocratic property tax cap that has made it impossible for critical programs to continue, an over-emphasis on testing, the narrowing of curriculum and finally the intrusion of the common core, which has done more to frustrate creative and talented teachers than improve instruction. Cuomo is a governor who incites communities to doubt school professionals and prefers to blame teachers instead of providing needed resources and support. Many believe that Cuomo has done more damage to our public school system than any governor before him.
Challenging the Governor is Westchester County Executive Republican candidate Rob Astorino. While some have taken notice of Mr. Astorino’s anti-common core platform, a simple scratch beneath the surface reveals a candidate who puts all his faith in charter schools and would further decimate schools through a reduction of state aid and making the property tax cap permanent. Equally alarming is Astorino’s opposition to teacher tenure, as well as, his vow to eliminate the Triborough Amendment.
Fortunately, there is an alternative this year to both Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Astorino. Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins and his running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Brian Jones have produced an education platform that is completely in sync with what we believe and know to be sound education policy.
Hawkins and Jones believe that:
- New York needs to opt out of Race to the Top and the Common Core Standards.
- Schools need to return to meaningful teaching and learning and move away from the over-emphasis on testing.
- Schools should be allowed to develop authentic assessments that are organic to the learning process.
- Zero-tolerance discipline policies are the wrong way to produce responsible and productive citizens.
- The state-mandated anti-democratic tax cap must be eliminated.
- The State should provide equitable funding for all schools so there can be a reduction of class size and the restoration of music, art, health, and all other vital programs that have been taken away from this generation of students.
In light of these pro-public education initiatives, the EWTA Executive Council voted unanimously to endorse the Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones.
A vote for Hawkins/Jones represents a vote for education and faith in the job that each of us performs each day in the classroom.
A vote for Hawkins/Jones also sends a message to Cuomo that we refuse to let him win by default or inaction.