State of Education: Educate NY Now
Even though summer break is upon us, one group is still trying to educate the state on what kinds of financial issues the school systems are facing. Education Reporter Vince Gallagher has more.
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STATEWIDE -- The organization is called Educate NY Now and there's a message.
"I am speaking to the education commission in support of Educate Ny Now to let the commission know the problems we're seeing specifically in Schenectady and the crisis that has spread across New York State," said Jamaica Miles, a concerned parent.
The group of education, advocacy, and business leaders are examining the state's public schools system. This was all organized back in April by Governor Cuomo. One concern among others, cutbacks on extracurricular courses
"So that students can go on to careers if college isn't something that they're looking for. Our students need to be prepared after high school for what life holds for them," said Miles.
Their mission is to reduce cuts that many school districts face.
"And I really think it's a great initiative to start shedding some light on that and bringing forward all of the burdens placed on tax payers because New York State isn't holding up their end of the bargain," said Tom McMahon, an eighth grade english teacher.
But what kind of cuts are we talking about? Well, each school district is different, but it's pretty much across the board right now, affecting everyone from kindergarten to 12th grade.
"You're looking at things like Encore programs, art, music, technology, especially at the lower grades, special education cuts. These are services that are most needy students need, that all of our students need," said McMahon.
For example, at the Cohoes City School district, 71 positions were cut over the last three years, drastically affecting their class schedule.
"We have no home economics any longer, we have no technology any longer and our business classes are reduced to about seven," said Robert Libby, Cohoes Superintendent of Schools.
The New York State School Board Association testified before the commission. Funding was the theme, but teacher evaluation was mentioned as well.
"Giving school boards the flexibility they need to be able to hire the right people, get people trained and when it doesn't work out to help counsel folks into other professions," said David Albert, NYSSBA Director of Communications.
"No one of us believe we have all the answers but we think we can come up with some things that will make the delivery of public education more effective in the state and create more opportunity for the children," said Richard Parsons, Commission Chair.
This subject will continue. The next commission will be held Wednesday in western New York.