State news roundup for November 24, 2012


New York – NYSUT convoy delivers relief to storm victims

The winds have died down and the waters receded, but the impact of Superstorm Sandy continues to be felt downstate.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi traveled to Long Island this past weekend as part of a truck convoy delivering clothing, blankets, diapers, cleaning supplies and other necessities to community centers in Massapequa, Island Park and Lindenhurst.

Iannuzzi, a Long Island resident, was inspired by the resilience of those struggling to rebuild in the storm’s wake, but sobered by the amount of devastation left behind.

“The contrast between the two different regions of the island is very stark,” he said. “The middle and north of the island is mostly wind damage and downed power lines. The south is a very different scene — boats in the middle of yards, stores and businesses that are unlikely to reopen for months if at all and homes destroyed.”

Visit to read the complete article or click here to find out how you can donate to NYSUT’s disaster relief efforts.

Montana – Pupils before profit: Amanda Curtis

MEA-MFT member Amanda Curtis wrote the following guest editorial, which has appeared in several major Montana newspapers. Amanda has been elected to represent House District 76 in the Montana Legislature. She teaches math at Butte High School.

Back in September, we heard from Greg Gianforte regarding school choice. On behalf of the students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers across the state, I would like to interject some truth into this conversation.

When Gianforte says “school choice (meaning private charter schools) increases spending per child,” he is clearly misinformed on how school funding works. There is no way charter schools would increase per-pupil funding in Montana. Our state tax dollars fund about 65 percent of the actual cost of educating a child.

If profiteers can get their hands on those tax dollars, they’ll take your money and turn a profit. When charter school proponents say the word “scholarship,” they’re really talking about vouchers that take your money away from your public school system and put it in a corporate bank account.

When did our schools change from community centers to profit centers?

Get the full story at

New Jersey – NJEA members, staff deliver school supplies to Union Beach teachers and students

When Hurricane Sandy leveled Union Beach in Monmouth County, the town’s middle school was flooded in four feet of water and debris. It may reopen prior to Christmas.

But on Monday, Nov. 19, the school’s 75 teachers and 500 of its 720 students returned to classes in temporary settings in North Middletown and Keyport with supplies donated by NJEA members across the state [ed note: pictured above and at right]. Each teacher received box packed with enough supplies to get a classroom up and running, while each student received a backpack filled with personal school supplies, all courtesy of the NJEA Hurricane Sandy Back to School Fund.

NJEA staff and volunteer NJEA members from Monmouth County packed the boxes and backpacks on Saturday at NJEA’s 180 West State Street headquarters in Trenton.

Hundreds of Union Beach students were scattered to shelters and other locations by the storm, and teachers have been successful in locating 500 of them.

Read the complete article at or click here to donate to NJEA’s disaster relief fund.

North Dakota – NDEA hires Tiberio as new executive director

The North Dakota Education Association (NDEA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Armand Tiberio from Tacoma, Washington as the Association’s new Executive Director. He will replace Greg Burns who has been with the Association for five years and will be retiring in December.

“We will sincerely hate losing Burns,” said NDEA President Dakota Draper. “He has moved our Association in a positive direction, but we feel that Tiberio will be able to step in and continue that movement.”

Tiberio has a B.A. in Business/Economics from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington and an M.S. in Labor Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

He has been serving as National Education Association (NEA) Pacific Regional Director until taking the position of NDEA Executive Director. His regional position was delivering NEA programs and services to the states focusing on membership, growth, building affiliate capacity and managing political and issue campaigns.

Find out more at

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