Education forum blasts governorís budget proposal

SHERBURNE Ė Parents, teachers, and administrators called on Albany to reconsider Gov. Andrew Cuomoís recent education reform policies and restore funding to upstate schools during a community forum held at the Sherburne-Earlville Central School on Monday.

Mondayís forum hinged on a number of issues impacting public education, including the significance of local control over schools and the crippling effects that state-mandated testing has had on teachers and students in recent years. Speakers rallied against high stakes testing, teacher evaluations, and new threats of funding cuts if schools donít adhere to the proposed teacher evaluation standards that are coming down the pike.

Opponents of newly proposed education reform say the policies put forth by the governor during his state of the state address in January would take money away from public schools in order to fund more charter schools in urban settings. Furthermore, the governorís proposed policies would limit the power of school boards, allow a takeover of the NY Board of Regents to give full control over public education to the governor, increase testing, and withhold preliminary funding amounts necessary to formulate a school budget if schools donít agree with the stateís terms.

All this on top of the already damaging effects caused by the hastily implemented Common Core, funding cuts of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), and increasingly rigorous teacher evaluations, some argued.

Sherburne-Earlville Superintendent Eric Schnabl said the governorís latest budget proposal creates an even greater risk for schools that are already fighting an uphill battle.

ďAfter Governor Cuomo announced his budget proposal, it became clear that the example to be set is one of speaking out against his agenda which we as professional educators see as an attack on public education,Ē said Schnabel.

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