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Friday, August 27, 2010


Race to the top? Sounds racist?

New York will be recipient of $700 million
of federal grant money (our tax dollars).

The State Education  Department will skim
off $350 million. The rest will be divided
among certain school districts.

Give the money back to the property
taxpayers who are in desperate need of
property tax relief.

Here in the City of Albany  property owners
will soon receive their school tax bills with
another 4 per cent increase included.

The per pupil cost of "educating" students
in Albany is about $25,000 annually. The
drop out rate in Albany High is about 50%.

Not a good return.

Three seats on the city school board are
up for election, Nov 2.

Does anyone know who the candidates
are? What they stand for? What they will
do to provide homeowners and businesses
with property tax relief? What they will
do to improve educational standards and
performance in the city schools?

Higher taxes and more spending will not
cure the ills of the dysfunctional city schools.

Consolidation of the city schools with city
government, establishing one property tax
roll to fund both,  returning to K-8
neighborhood schools;  making the Mayor
and Common Council responsible and
accountable for the operation/ performance
of the city schools , would be a major step
toward providing property tax relief and
improving education in the city schools.

Candidates for the State Senate and
Assembly have the ability to sponsor the
required legislation to amend state law to
provide for these changes. Will they
promise to do so, if elected, or re-elected?

None of the incumbents have?  Will Andrew
Cuomo, the champion of consolidation of
local governmental units
(except for school districts)
now embrace this idea as candidate for

How about those seeking State Senate and
Assembly seats this year?

Property tax cap proposals are not the way to
go, because caps guarantee annual property
tax increases, and remove the decisions on
school budgets and property tax increases
from  local control of resident voters.

Albany has a shrinking base of homeowner
property taxpayers, who face higher and
higher property taxes every year, to finance
city schools where 70 percent, or more, of
the school population, comes from households
that do not pay property taxes, to support
those schools,

Worse yet, the school population includes
far too many who do not value the education
offered to them, and paid for by property
taxpayers. The 50 percent drop out rate
and poor student performance /behavior
is clear evidence to support this conclusion.

This situation is not sustainable.
As, homeowners with children flee the city
Albany is becoming the home of the elderly
and poor. Who, then, will pay to support
city schools, city services and city

The end is in sight. Will the candidates for
state offices, this November 2, present viable
legislative proposals to address this situation?
Will the voters demand that the candidates do?

                                                    Joe Sullivan

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