Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone criticized state lawmakers who Amicone claims decided to “sell out public school children to appease teachers union.”
Here’s what he wrote in his statement released this morning.
Yonkers Mayor: State Lawmakers Sell Out Public School Children to Appease Teachers Union
Yonkers, N.Y. (April 1, 2011)—The following is an official statement from Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone regarding the FY 2011-12 state budget adopted this week by the New York State Legislature. Specifically, the mayor’s comments concern a $14 million appropriation for the Teacher Resource and Computer Training program, a discretionary fund used by tenured teachers for continuing education classes. There are few requirements for these classes. More information can be found here: http://www.nyiteez.org/NYteachercenters/homepage.htm <http://www.nyiteez.org/NYteachercenters/homepage.htm>
“Time after time the State Legislature has proven its dysfunction and ineffectiveness in ways that continue to anger and offend the taxpayers of New York State. But in more than fifteen years of dealing with the legislature on behalf of the city of Yonkers, I have never been more disappointed with our state lawmakers than during this budget cycle.
“As they say, the devil is in the details. And that couldn’t be more true than with this budget. Hidden deep within the state’s spending plan, we just found out, is $14 million in continuing education monies for teachers—- a blatant payoff to the teachers union. It’s outrageous that the legislature has sold out our children in order to scratch the back of the most destructive special interest in Albany. While students across New York including in Yonkers will be forced into larger classes and must forgo music, art, athletics, and other important programs because of this budget, the legislature has ensured that tenured teachers will be afforded the educational opportunities that were robbed of our public school children.
“I cannot fathom how anyone who voted for this budget can justify this outrage to parents of school children who will now be denied educational opportunities because of their grossly misplaced priorities.
“Almost as offensive is the fact that everyone is holding hands and patting each other on the back because the state finally managed to pass an on-time budget after spending the better part of three decades shirking their fiscal responsibilities. Never mind their total abdication of decision making when it comes to tough choices. With this budget, the state has done nothing but pass the buck to local governments and school districts all across New York.”