WFP and Allies: Senate and Assembly Should Hit Pause Button on Education

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2015

The following is a joint statement by the Working Families Party, the Alliance for Quality Education, Citizen Action of New York, Make the Road Action Fund, and New York Communities for Change:

Let’s hit the pause button on the education budget bill and get things right before voting. Over 2.7 million public school students are counting on the Senate and Assembly to do their homework when it comes to education–not cram for the exam. We are asking the Senate and Assembly leadership to renegotiate the education budget bill before they bring it to a vote.

At a time when Governor Cuomo is making and breaking promises at lightning speed, it’s imperative that legislators demand the time to negotiate, clarify, and listen to the parents, teachers, and students they’re here to serve. Full funding for a sound basic education is a CFE mandate, not a bargaining chip.

Working families have clearly rejected Governor Cuomo’s damaging education agenda, including his strategy of holding education funding hostage to his demands for a teacher evaluation system based heavily on flawed high stakes testing. In response to the same practice in 2013, a state court ruled that students could not be denied school funding based upon the failure of districts to create a state sanctioned teacher evaluation system.

So let’s slow down and get this right. There’s no extra credit for rushing through bills that legislators haven’t even had time to read for the sake of a bad but on-time budget. That’s especially true for bills that impede our obligation to provide all of our students with a high-quality public education.