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NYSUT Officer J. Philippe Abraham Visits Marion

Visit to Ag room


J. Philippe Abraham is on a mission.

Abraham, the secretary/treasurer for New York State United Teachers, and other NYSUT officials are visiting school districts around the state to see the impact that changes to the 2024-25 state budget will have on students, teachers and communities.

Abraham, who conducts two or three site visits per week, traveled to the Marion Central School District on Tuesday.  This visit was organized by Mike Herlan, president of the Marion Teachers’ Association.

Abraham toured Marion Elementary School and Marion Junior-Senior High School and also met with district administrators and members of the Marion Teachers’ Association.

He left impressed after witnessing caring professionals providing a quality education while offering a sense of family.

“All of the folks knew the children’s names and called them by name,” Abraham said. “The special programs that exist stood out as well as the way the staff impacts the lives of children and how much the children in the classrooms were invested in them.”

With Marion facing the possibility of losing another $1.2 million in Foundation Aid due to the removal of “save harmless” funding in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget, some of the programs Abraham saw in action are at risk of being cut.

Abraham, who was born and raised in Haiti before coming to the United States, is a staunch supporter of public education and says NYSUT and its 600,000 members have a message for people across the state.

“We are going to make sure that what is proposed does not come to pass because we are going to fight to the bitter end to ensure that we are doing the best that we can for our schools and the programs that they have at a level that makes sense for children’s education across the State,” Abraham said.

Abraham said that he and others at NYSUT are only getting started. They will continue to visit districts, gather facts and develop a plan that advocates for children.

He encouraged NYSUT members, as well as the general public, to fight for what they believe in and keep the faith.

“It’s not over until it is over,” Abraham said. “(NYSUT members) are invested in this as well and they should be out in the community and make sure that their legislators are on board, their fellow community people also are aware and are also able to be active and help in getting the message to the Governor and the legislators that this is not something that they should be doing at this time because our kids’ future depends on it.”

Marion Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ellen Lloyd appreciated Abraham taking the time to become more familiar with Marion.

“I would like to thank Secretary-Treasurer Abraham for taking the time to travel from Albany to Marion and visit our District,” Lloyd said. “In Marion, students are at the heart of what we do and our staff goes above and beyond each day to provide personalized learning and ensure that our students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. We encourage our staff and community to advocate to restore save harmless funding to the State budget, and we appreciate NYSUT doing the same.”