Albany Must Act NOW to Fix Broken Education Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 1, 2016
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) www.nysape.org
 
Albany Must Act NOW to Fix Broken Education Laws
 
Albany must act now to fix broken education laws as the NYS Legislature approaches the end of session. Thousands of New Yorkers call on the Senate and Assembly to bring Andrew Cuomo’s donor driven Education agenda to an end by sending new bills to the Governor’s desk.
 
The people of our state are sick of the Governor’s politically motivated budget debacles and the influence of Cuomo’s wealthy donors wreaking havoc on their children’s and grandchildren’s classrooms.
 
The message of hundreds of thousands of Opt-Outs the past few years has still not been heard. These bills represent a critical and necessary step in restoring the lost trust of New Yorkers by those who chose to gamble with our children and their education:
 
A10056 –  Assemblyman Brindisi & S7462 – Senator Griffo: restores local control and repeals receivership law.

A10057A – Assemblyman Brindisi & S7463 – Senator Griffo: removes the financial penalty for school districts if their teacher/principal evaluation plans are not in place by this fall, decouples students tests scores from teacher evaluations, AND requires an expert committee to develop a research-based teacher/principal evaluation plan. (Senator Griffo’s version, S7463 is expected to be amended to remove the financial penalty language)

A09461 – Assemblywoman Paulin & S7632 – Senator Serino: removes the financial penalty for school districts if their teacher/principal evaluation plans are not in place by this fall, AND requires an expert committee to develop a research-based teacher/principal evaluation plan.
 
We are calling on New Yorkers to Take Action Today and contact the Albany leadership to pass and enact legislation which will begin to repair public education and our trust in our elected officials.
 
Not forgotten from the 2015 budget cycle, Cuomo’s unconstitutional coercion of a fatally flawed student test score driven teacher evaluation system and a charter school industry-backed statewide school district receivership program which still outrages thousands of voters. 
 
The time for unraveling Andrew Cuomo’s 2015 education budget debacle legislation is now.  New Yorkers call for immediate change this session or they will bring about change this November.  Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie must send bipartisan legislation to the governor’s desk now for all New Yorkers to see.
 
“Very simply, power must be immediately restored to the Board of Regents, the constitutional owners of education policy.  The Board of Regents cannot regulate New York out of these bad, inflexible laws,” said Lisa Rudley, Hudson Valley public school parent. Rudley went on to say, “Public schools belong to the people and are not for sale.”
 
“The governor’s 3012-d law is in opposition with the intent of the new federal ESSA and more importantly continues to be destructive to the holistic needs of children, teachers and communities. Allow the Board of Regents to create policies that empower communities and inspire our profession. Linking teacher evaluations to test scores, specifically at a 50% rate is fundamentally flawed and scientifically unsound,” said Jamaal Bowman, parent and Bronx educator.
                                    
“New Yorkers will not tolerate the privatization of our schools. They see the campaign contributions and “donations” of profiteers with expectations of returns.  Everyone knows that is corruption, and it is all too prevalent today in Albany and within Andrew Cuomo’s office,” said Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public school parent, educator, and Executive Director of BATs.
 
Eileen Graham, Rochester public school parent and founder of Black Student Leadership said, “As a parent of a third grader it is imperative that we create laws that empower students and families to achieve; not creating policies and laws such as ‘Receivership’ laws that demonize students and degrade teachers, this is insulting to say the least and we deserve and expect better!”
 
Jessica McNair, Central NY public school parent and educator said, “Central New Yorkers are proud of representatives, Assemblyman Brindisi and Senator Griffo for picking up this legislation and creating a bi-partisan coalition.  We are counting on them and their Assembly and Senate majority colleagues to pass this vital legislation and deliver it to the Governor’s desk.”
 
“Education is currently one of the top voting issues in NY. Education voters have made it clear that these bills are our top priority and demand our elected officials work to support the will of the people.  As November elections are fast approaching, education voters will certainly be keeping track of which legislators work to get these bills passed, as well as noting which legislators block our efforts. We call on the legislature to listen to their constituents and put children before politics,” said Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out.
 
“More than a pause, we need to extricate our schools from the fatally flawed and statistically unreliable concept of linking teacher evaluations to test scores, once and for all, and instead devise a system that is trusted by parents and educators,” said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters.
 
Tim Farley, Capital Region public school parent and educator said, “It is long past time that we eradicate politics from our education system and allow the real experts to make the decisions that are best for our children and our teachers.”
 
Take Action Today and contact the Albany leadership to pass and enact this legislation to begin to repair
public education and our trust in our elected officials.
 
NYSAPE is a grassroots coalition with over 50 parent and educator groups across the state.

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