October 31, 2014
By Stephanie West
Albany, NY – The Alliance for Quality Education along with leading community and educational leaders have reacted to recent statements by Governor Cuomo regarding public education – particularly his vow to break the public schools “public monopolies” and replace them with more privately-run charter schools.
“Gov. Cuomo has laid clear plans to expand his frontal assault on our public schools through high stakes testing, starving our public schools and privatization,” said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “It’s not that shocking when you look at the enormous pile of cash he has raked in from the Wall Street billionaires who are investing in charter schools. He is rewarding his financial backers at a devastating cost to our children.”
“The Governor's words demonstrate that he really doesn't understand the important role of public education in the continuing re-tooling and development of the American economy,” said Robert Libby, the Cohoes City School District’s Superintendent of Schools.
“It is outrageous that Mr. Cuomo calls our public school system a ‘monopoly.’ While the governor calls for school competition, what he’s really pushing is a ‘survival of the fittest’ charter school model,” said Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change. “What the governor should be doing is complying with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity's decision to fully fund our schools and pay the $2.5 billion New York City public schools are owed. Every child in New York City should have access to good schools and we will be in Albany next year to make sure this happens.”
“New York's leaders need to stop blaming everyone else and instead address the real problem with our education system: the state's chronic under-funding of schools," said Karen Scharff, executive director with Citizen Action of New York. "Declaring war on teachers is just an excuse for the budget cuts that are undermining our kids' opportunity for success."
“The Governor's assertion that competition is an adequate substitute for equity should be an affront to New Yorker's sensibilities,” Schenectady City School District’s Superintendent of Schools Laurence Spring said.