The Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers (NCCFT), the union representing Nassau Community College’s full-time faculty, enthusiastically endorses Laura Curran in her bid to become the Democratic candidate for Nassau County Executive. Her commitment to making sure all our county’s students—from kindergarten through college—have access to both quality instruction and the facilities necessary for teaching and learning in the 21st century speaks for itself.
The NCCFT’s primary concern, of course, is fulfilling Nassau Community College’s educational mission, and Laura’s unwavering support of that endeavor is why she has earned our endorsement. We would be remiss, however, if we did not also recognize her advocacy on behalf of our K-12 colleagues and their students. Starting with her tenure on the Baldwin School District school board, which she also served as president, Laura has consistently fought to avoid layoffs; insisted on the value of increased investment in after school programs (as well as in the arts, school sports, and similar offerings); and she has supported/voted for contracts that included fair and well-deserved pay raises for educators. Again and again, she has demonstrated not only that she cares about the quality of education Nassau County’s students receive, but also that she understands the kind of K-12 experience that will prepare those students for success when they enter our college-level classrooms.
In October 2016, Laura put people ahead of politics when she courageously broke with her caucus to make sure Nassau Community College received not only the $18 million of county bonding for infrastructure improvements that was being held up in the legislature, but also the 50% state/federal matching funds that would otherwise have been lost. Similarly, she refused to accept that the circumstances of working people’s lives should be subordinated to budgetary concerns when she worked with the current county administration to find the $3 million in funding that allowed NICE Bus to restore most of the 11 bus lines it cut last year. Many of our students rely on public transportation to get to school in the first place, not to mention the jobs they hold down to pay for their education. Without Laura Curran’s leadership, who knows how many of them would now be unable to make it to class?
Keeping NCC affordable and accessible should be among our legislature’s highest educational priorities, and Laura Curran has demonstrated her commitment to that value by voting year after year to approve NCC’s budget. In doing so, she has also shown she understands a connection all too few politicians make these days, i.e., that one of the most effective and productive ways to show you value students is by valuing the faculty who help those students claim their education.
We hope you will join us in supporting Laura Curran’s candidacy. She will make the difference Nassau County needs.