Although school has been out, our Legislators are furiously trying to come to a resolution on what our schools education, teacher evaluation and funding programs are going to look like not only for this budget cycle, but for years to come. Please stay on top of what is happening in Albany.
Now is the time for parents, educators, and community members to come together to ensure Albany does what is right for all children in the State of New York!
Governor Cuomo’s education policy is poised to be accepted by our local and state representatives if we all do not make our voices heard now! We are deeply concerned that the Governor’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to public education will undermine our districts in several significant ways.
Below, please see the major issues outlined. At the end of each section is a link to a letter advocating against the Governor’s stated plans. You can click on each link, sign your name to a prepared letter — or even add to it, if you would like — and email it to a preselected list of various elected officials, including our State Assemblyman Steve Otis, State Senator George Latimer and Governor Andrew Cuomo himself.
With just a couple of clicks, you can make your voice heard by those lawmakers we have elected to represent our priorities on matters like these. There is too much at stake — for our schools and our children — to spend this March on the sidelines.
ENSURE THAT THE APPR SYSTEM DOES NOT USE OUTSIDE EVALUATORS.
The Governor intends to implement a system that will judge 50% of a teacher’s performance on test scores and most of the other 50% on observations by an independent evaluator assigned from outside our district. Such a formula would compromise the authority of our district and building administrators who know our teachers best, and as an expensive unfunded mandate, it would siphon district funds from our classrooms and professional development programs.
Plus, the Governor is tying the entire state budget to his education reform plan, playing politics with public education. Many state legislators share our concern over this inappropriate and irresponsible approach to governing.
RESTORE THE GAP ELIMINATION ADJUSTMENT.
All public school districts across the state are laboring under the GEA that several years ago redirected millions of dollars away from public education funding in order to plug the state’s budget gap. New York State now claims a $2 billion budget surplus. Last year, grassroots efforts resulted in money being reallocated to school districts across the state.
We know that these issues and the debates over them can feel distant and disconnected from our everyday lives. We assure you, they are not. The decisions that are being made in Albany have a direct effect on the classrooms in many of our districts. Do not let your concerns go unexpressed.