FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Brittany Serra, (845) 200-9716
SENATOR BALL AND SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE CHAIR TALK SCHOOL FUNDING AND MANDATES WITH LOCAL EDUCATORS
Peeskill, N.Y. – (2/28/12) – On Tuesday, February 28th, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) held a forum on education funding and mandates with Senator John J. Flanagan, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, at Peekskill Middle School.
“Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to receive the concerns of parents, school administrators and the community regarding education funding and unfunded mandates,” Senator Ball said. “Albany needs to get proactive and serious about unfunded mandates and let teachers and administrators do their job! It is inconceivable that Albany go another year without delivering comprehensive unfunded mandate relief. I am personally working with my local school districts to introduce a comprehenisve unfunded mandate relief bill and I thank Senator Flanagan for taking the time to listen to their concerns and bring those concerns back to Albany.”
The forum was an opportunity for Senator Ball and Senator Flanagan to hear directly from those who have the knowledge and experience managing budgets in our school districts, and to have an open and frank discussion. Superintendents, principals, faculty and school board members in the 40th Senate District were in attendance.
“Every region of New York has a right to be heard during the ongoing debate about the future of education in our state and I thank Senator Ball for setting up this forum and inviting me to participate. This meeting will ensure that the local educational leaders have the opportunity to advocate for the students they serve and to make their issues part of the statewide process,” Senator Flanagan said. “By taking the discussion out of Albany and directly to those who make the decisions that affect the children of this area, we will be more effective at bringing their voice to the State Capitol.”
Dr. David Fine, Principal of Peekskill Middle School, said he left the meeting feeling confident that Senator Ball and Senator Flanagan had their best interests in mind.
“I think Senator Ball and Senator Flanagan have their finger on the pulse on the needs of education,” Dr. Fine said. “I think as politicians they’re going to do some things— communication and collaboration— to make some changes. I think the people in this auditorium have the ideas of what needs to happen—they are the drivers. And Senator Ball and Senator Flanagan are the vehicles of change.”
Dr. Ralph Napolitano, Superintendent of Yorktown Schools, said he was please that Senator Ball arranged an open forum with Senator Flanagan for local educators to take part in.
“The education of the children in New York State us too important to be jeopardized y miscommunication and misunderstanding,” Dr. Napolitano said. “This is an opportunity for all of us to get on the same page in order to provide the best educational experience for our children during these fiscally troubled times. This is an opportunity for us to collectively collaborate and to place our students at the center of our discussions. They are the future and decisions that remove them as our focal point will impact them and the state for many years to come.”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Brittany Serra (845) 200-9716.