Education group releases “State of the Schools” video

0

The Alliance for Quality Education released a “State of the Schools” address the day before Gov. Andrew Cuomo presents his 2012 “State of the State” speech. AQE is supporting the state Board of Regents’ proposal to tweak the school funding system so poor school districts get the bulk of new education aid. The governor and lawmakers agreed last year that they would increase school aid by 4 percent in the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins April 1.

Regents have recommended that 73 percent of the $755 million in new funding go toward low-wealth districts. The high-need schools are located primarily in rural areas and small cities, but they are across the state. Another $50 million would be for competitive grants. The state cut school aid in the current budget and in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“When Albany slashes school funding, as it has for three years in row, wealthier districts are so much better equipped to protect schools that poor districts,” said Nikki Jones, communications director for AQE. “What we are now seeing in poor districts is appalling: crowded classrooms; greatly reduced class offerings and the elimination of tutoring and other programs. These are severe impacts that must be addressed.”

As a result of the $1.3 billion education-funding cut in the current school year, there are larger class sizes, 11,000 fewer teaching positions and reduced programs like after-school, tutoring and sports. “Many children are now in overcrowded classrooms and are denied critical educational programs and services. As a result they will likely find it much harder to reach their educational goals,” Jones says in a video the group released on YouTube today.

Besides a fairer funding plan, schools need high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, effective interventions for students who are below grade level, and effective teaching of students whose first language is not English, Jones says in the video.

AQE plans a rally on school-funding fairness next Tuesday. This is the video:

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.