Education Budget Hearings Provide an Opportunity for Legislators to Insist on Reform
For Immediate Release: Monday, January 23, 2012
Contact: B. Jason Brooks, Director of Research and Communications
Today’s joint legislative hearing on the Executive Budget proposal for education “provides an opportunity for state legislators to follow Gov. Cuomo’s lead in standing up to the education establishment’s numerous special-interest groups and bring about the dramatic reform needed to improve New York’s education system,” according to the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, an independent statewide education-policy think-tank.
According to B. Jason Brooks, director of research at the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, “Rather than just appeasing the education establishment’s annual call for more funding, the legislature would do well by the students of New York to adopt a budget that insists funding be tied to reform and innovations that will improve academic outcomes.” Brooks noted that state education commissioner John King highlighted how nearly two-thirds of New York’s students are graduating from high school unprepared for careers or to enter college. “This painful fact demonstrates the results of a broken educational system that also happens to be the most expensive in the nation. New York would benefit from more state education funding shifting from entitlements for local districts to merit-based programs,” Brooks said.
Brooks noted key components of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal that would move the state in the right direction over the next year by:
– Tying increased funding to the implementation of a quality statewide teacher evaluation processes which measures whether students are learning from individual teachers. This would bring about a new – and long overdue – era of accountability in public education.
– Funding competitive grants to stimulate a modernization and initiation of educational best-practices in our schools which will provide an attractive funding source for districts open to dramatic reform. And,
– Charging his new education reform commission with orders for recommending truly transformative changes to the state’s educational system.
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The Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability (FERA) is an independent, nonprofit, research organization dedicated to improving education in New York State by promoting accountability, stimulating innovation, and supporting school-choice efforts across the state