Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vouchers in NY--Curiouser and Curiouser

Look at the news today and you see this, a story about how NY State is looking at back-door vouchers. You see, rather than give you money back for tuition, you'll simply get a tax-credit for donations to the school of your choice.

This will cost the state 300 million dollars, and half of it will be earmarked for private school scholarships. Make no mistake, this is yet another attack on the institution of public school.

Don't think your local religious school is going to embrace students like mine, who know little English, or students with other special needs, or the alternate assessment students not on track to graduate. My school takes all comers, and that's why the state ought to support us, as opposed to Andy Cuomo's deep-pocketed BFFs.

There are powerful supporters behind the legislation, and they're directing hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers who sign on. 

That's what it's all about in Andy Cuomo's New York, unfortunately. And that's why it's a bad idea for NYSUT to be purchasing $10,000 tables at Cuomo's birthday bash. We can't compete with the money DFER and their hedgefund buds can dish out. We ought not to have to. We represent the children of this state, not just the ones private schools and charters think can boost their stats, but all of them, no matter what.

And while Cuomo, King and Tisch blather on about the importance of Common Core and judging teachers by junk science, the state is getting ready to pump huge money into schools required to do none of the above. If it's so vital that Cuomo cannot contemplate a delay, how on earth can he support legislation to promote schools not required to follow rules?

Cuomo came into office vowing to go after unions, and our legislature appears to be supporting that goal even as we speak. Call your state senator and assemblyperson and ask them to vote against this. Money talks to Governor Cuomo even as he pays lip service to the multitudes who spoke out against Common Core.

We can't show the governor the sort of numbers DFER can. But we showed up in huge numbers for the traveling King-Tisch vaudeville show, and that can't be the last time we do it.
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