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Saturday, January 17, 2009


Listening to the callers on Mayor Jenning's Radio
Show (WDGJ-1300 9 -10 AM) this past Friday
underscored the idea that the time is right
for change in the Albany City Schools.

Callers from the lower 8th ward, who live in the
shadow of the Meyers Middle School, complained
that the City School District was preventing
their children from attending that school, and
forcing them to go to Hackett Middle School.
One caller also complained that parents in Arbor
Hill were upset that Livingston Middle School
students were being forced to go either to Meyers
or Hackett because Livingston was being closed.


The Albany City Schools and School Board are
clearly dysfunctional.
Children and their parents, as well as all city
property taxpayers, who are being forced to fund
this dysfunction, are all being short changed.

Hard Economic times are here.
Time for change in the Albany City Schools!

1. Disband the Albany City School District and
School Board. Place the responsibility and
accountability for the city public
schools with the Office of the Mayor.

2. Return to a K-8 neighborhood school system
which is best for kids
parents and neighborhood stability.

This will end the discriminatory attendance
lottery system and
eliminate the need for bussing which will
save fuel, fuel costs and associated air pollution.
Students will be able to walk to school.
They will be less obese and not waste hours
of their young lives as forced commuters.
Parents will be able to play a more active role
in the education of all their children, because all
will attend the same school.
Teachers will be better able to track
the progress of the students from K - 8
because students will attend the same
school for those years.

3. End the the dual system of property taxation
which is placing a terrible burden on the 1/3
of residential dwellings, that are owner-
occupied in the city- most of these by senior
citizens on fixed incomes.
Also, negatively impacted by this dual taxation
system are businesses.

Establish ONE property tax to fund both
city government, services and city public schools.

4. Trim the fat from the bloated school
administration which is too
large and too costly.

5. Place more responsibility for learning
and behavior,on students,
parents and teachers.

6. Academically challenged students shall be
diverted to trade/ occupational training which
provides them with skills
attitudes and behaviors necessary to become
functioning, productive, contributors to society.
This curriciculum shall include
public service restoring blighted neighborhoods
working in hospitals, etc.

7. Recalitrant, malcontents shall undergo
attitude and behavioral adjustment early on.
This can occur at the neighborhood schools.
If these problems persist, offenders shall be
schools and shipped to a boot camp academy
at Camp McGregor were they undergo vigorous
attitude/behavioral adjustment by
a staff of military veterans.

8. All schools shall provide safe learning
environments, conducive to learning by
those who want to learn. School uniforms shall
replace gang colors/insignia.
A strict conduct code in school and in the
neighborhoods going to and from school
shall apply.

9. Governor Paterson and our elected
State Senate/Assembly representatives must
make the necessary legislative amendments
providing for the City of Albany
and the voters of this city, to
act on these proposals this year.

10. Time has come to change the way
city schools are funded. Most of the
student body comes from households
that do not pay property taxes.

The costs of education must be fairly
borne by all...not just property tax
paying homeowners and businesses.

11. The above questions should be put to
the voters when the May School Budget vote
occurs. All city polling places shall be open!

12. City voters/taxpayers should have the
final say on approval or
disapproval of school budgets.
One vote binding. No reruns.
If a budget is voted down, the prior years
next school year. No phoney 4 percent
property cap legislation!

13. Once the city schools and school board
are disbanded, one property tax created to
fund city government and schools,
and the Mayor responsible/accountable
for city public schools
there will be no need for school budget
votes and school board elections.

If city property taxpayers and voters
are not happy with
the functioning and cost
of city schools, the buck will stop at
the desk of one person-
the Mayor.

Joe Sullivan

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