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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sullivan on Education. 

Positions on Learning/Education

Politics permeates education at the local, state
and federal levels and is predicated on the false
premise that more and more spending will
produce better educational outcomes.

The City of Albany School District, with a 50
percent drop out rate, is exhibit A - of that
false premise.

The NYS Constitution provides that the State
Legislature is responsible for the public schools.
Not the federal government, Not the Governor.
Not the courts.

1. Education is a local-state responsibily, not
the responsibility of the federal government.

a. Abolish the federal education department
b. End No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and
Race to the Top.

2. At the state level
a. Scale back the state education department
    return more control of curriculums and
    schools to local districts.
b. Remove unfunded state mandates on schools
    including the teacher evaluation mandate
    passed by the State Legislature and signed
    into law by Governor Cuomo, who promoted
    that mandate.
c. Retain teacher tenure and local control of it.
d. Elect school superintendents, subject to recall.
e. Index property tax rates to school
    performance and drop out rates.
f. Hold school budget votes at November
g. No revotes when budgets are rejected
    by voters.
h. Completely evaluate and revise special
i) Earmark monthly SSI (crazy money)
   payments per child, to go, not to parents
   but to the schools to help pay the local 
   costs of special education.
j) I oppose consolidation of school
    in the Towns of Guilderland, New
    Scotland and Bethlehem
    with the Albany City School District.
k) I support making all schools in the
     City of Albany Charter Schools.
     Charter schools educate students
     at a cost of about $12,000 per student
     per year.
     The City of Albany School District
     receives about $21,000  per pupil per
     year from a combination local
     property taxes, state and federal aid.

     In the City of Albany, about 1/3 of
     homes are owner occupied. 
     The majority of the owner
     occupied homes consist of elderly
     residents on fixed incomes.

     The majority of the city  the
     public school population
     comes from households that do
     not pay for the support of the
     public schools. Many of these
     students come from dysfunctional
     households and neighborhoods
     where a single parent is
     a social services recipient with
     multiple children.

     Property tax relief is a priority
     issue in the City of Albany, where
     school taxes constitute 60 percent
     of the total property tax paid by
     the declining base of elderly
     homeowners who
     have no children in school.

     Public schools have always
     relied on the present population
     to pay the costs of educating
     the next generation.  This pattern
     is coming to an end because the
     next generation will not able
     to pay the costs of education for
     succeeding generations.

     When the current population
      of elderly homeowners is driven
     from their homes by excessive
     property taxes, moves, sells out
     or passes on - who will pay the
     property taxes to  fund city schools
     and city government?

      As the populations of the Towns
      age, the suburbs will
      face the same question.

      Expect the Governor's
      Commission on Education
      which is to report it's
      recommendations for  a 
      "blue print" for education
      Dec. 1, 2012 (after election day)
      to include a  consolidation of city
      and town school districts 

       This may be a short term fix for
       city schools that passes the buck
       to town populations to keep city
       schools operational.
       This is not the answer to the
       problem of city schools.

        Changes in attitude and behavior
        and a love  and respect for learning
        are required. These cannot be legislated.

        Dysfunctional households and
        neighborhoods,  particularly that rely
        on public assistance as
        a way of life, will have to shape up.

        The public assistance railway is
        not sustainable.

Search this Lonerangeralbany site
using the terms
Learning, Education and
Albany City Schools.  You
will read 7 years of posting
on these subjects.

                                          Joe Sullivan

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