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    RELEASE: Gov. Cuomo Slams the Door on Opportunity

    For Immediate Release

    Contact:
    Wendy Liberatore, Statewide Communications Coordinator, AQE
    wendy@aqeny.org / (518) 432-5315 ext. 102; cell-(518) 491-0454

    ALBANY (Jan. 21, 2015) – Governor Cuomo says he has an Opportunity Agenda, but his education agenda is slamming the door shut on opportunity for hundreds of thousands of students in every corner of the state.

    Governor Cuomo has failed to address the educational crisis of our day which is the dramatic inequality for students based on the wealth or poverty of their zip code. There is no denying the numbers–the Cuomo policies have increased educational inequality to record setting levels and this budget fails to address inequality. The $1.1 billion proposed increase is half of what the Board of Regents and 83 state legislators have identified as what is needed. That is why on this very day students and parents from eight small cities are suing New York State for the Governor’s failure to fund our schools. No wonder he wants to distract voters by talking about high stakes testing, his flawed teacher evaluation system and privately run charter schools.

    Governor Cuomo is pushing an agenda of good sound bites and bad education policy. Takeover of public schools by the state and by private entities has no track record of success. Community schools are a great idea, but to work they must have local community control not be imposed on parents, students and teachers by the state or a private contractor. Rather than fully supporting our public schools and their students his plan is to send taxpayer dollars to private schools and privately run charter schools. His agenda on testing and teachers will continue the bleak march towards turning our schools into standardized testing mills where art, music, sports and childhood creativity are casualties.

    In what has become all too typical for Andrew Cuomo, his actions are motivated by personal politics, not public education policy. He has adopted the sound bites of his Wall Street billionaire campaign donors who are leading a nationwide attack on our public schools. The Governor is right, we do have a real problem in education, but increasingly Governor Cuomo is in fact the problem.
    On pre-K we heard some good rhetoric, but $340 million or more of the so-called “new money” in pre-K is not new at all, it is the renewal of funding that was committed last year.

    The Governor’s pre-K budget falls far, far short of his promise to phase in universal full-day pre-K. We need real investment, not symbolic action.

    We know how to fix our schools. It requires adequate funding and investment in specific programs like pre-k, high quality curriculum, career and technical education, community schools and smaller class sizes.

    We are going to fight Governor Cuomo on behalf of the 2.7 million students who deserve so much better from their Governor.

    We are going to fight him on behalf of struggling schools he has left with inadequate resources throughout the state. And we are going to win.

    We are going to win because the facts on our side, the parents and students are on our side and the future of New York State depends on it.

    About Us

    Founded only in 2000, the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) has quickly become New York state’s lead community-based organization in the fight for high quality public education.

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