The Southtown Teachers’ Center has a mission, Service to all who educate.” Since 1984 that is what we have done. The New York State Budget once again is threatening our mission and that of the other 130+ Teacher Centers throughout the State. We have been eliminated from the budget by the Governor and the Senate. The Assembly has put us in for half of what we received last year (this is just 25% of our previous funding level). Although the funding scenario is not new to us, having lost funding in 2010 and surviving 2009 only through Federal Stimulus Funds, the elimination or severe cut to funding is likely to deal a fatal blow to centers already struggling to hang on after 3 years fiscal crisis. The loss of Teacher Centers would mean the loss of cost-effective, current, best-practice professional development for our children’s teachers. With ever increasing state requirements for Core Curriculum, Teaching Standards, APPR, non-funded mandates and ever-increasing accountability for student achievement especially is the form of standardized tests, teacher centers are needed more than ever to provide the essential training needed for our teachers to be successful. Successful teachers =successful students.
We have provided high quality professional development to not only teachers, but to teacher aides, support staff, administration and the community. Many of the courses we offer are required for teachers in our consortium schools to meet contract requirements and/or tenure. STC is the provider of Dimension of Learning Courses, courses that offer teachers research-based strategies that help them to effectively teach a multitude of learning types. We are also the main provider of courses aimed to provide training to teacher aides making them better able to assist both teachers and most importantly the high-needs students they are charged with supporting. STC and our fellow teacher centers have also lead to charge in technology training. As computers are being integrated more and more in the classroom, many teachers have relied on their teacher center to provide them with the skills necessary to use the technology made available to them. Districts spend big money to install SmartBoards into classrooms, but often are unable to provide in-depth training on how to use them. To date STC has provided basic and advanced training to more than 100 teachers who are now able to engage their students using a new and emerging medium.
In addition to staff development, teacher centers provide low-cost or free services that support teachers in their classrooms. Copies, laminating, binding, posters, ellison die cut machines and more. Our center’s staff also provides custom created materials to meet specific needs of teachers and students. For example STC is able to blow up sheet music into a poster size sheets enabling a visually-impaired student to participate in band with other students. We also maintain a Tutor Referral listing for parents seeking a certified tutor to help a struggling child to succeed.
This is just a portion of what NYS Teacher Centers offer to educators. We encourage you to read some of the articles below and send a fax to your elected official urging the restoration of funding for NYS Teacher Centers. Help us to continue our mission of “Service to all who educate.” for another 30 years.
Learn a little more about NYS Teacher Centers.
reprinted from New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness
The Executive Budget does not include any funding for Teacher Centers.Funding for these Centers has already been significantly reduced, down to just over $20 million annually.Now more than ever, investing in education and educational resources is essential not only to our economic recovery, but to continue increasing academic achievement.For years these centers have run one of the most successful public/private collaborations in education because they were designed to bring high quality resources to PͲ16 institutions while increasing student performance.Teacher Centers historically received $35 million in funding from the state and
leveraged over $40 million worth of additional in-kind support from outside resources.