ALBANY, N.Y. February 27, 2007 - New York State United Teachers today called on state legislators to close the achievement gap by dramatically boosting the state's investment in public schools and by requiring districts to use research-proven methods to raise student achievement.
"The governor didn't take the easy way out. This is historic school finance reform that seeks to fulfill the state's moral and legal obligation to provide a sound, basic education to every child in the state," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi.
He added, "Providing resources fairly to public schools across the state, with an extra commitment to schools with greater needs, is the right direction for children and taxpayers."
In testimony before the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees, NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin said the union strongly supported Gov. Eliot Spitzer's emphasis on research-driven programs, such as smaller class sizes; professional development for teachers; and quality pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten. However, he said NYSUT had serious concerns about proposals to expand the number of charter schools without comprehensive reform; and to grant special tax deductions to parents who choose to send their children to private or religious schools.
"This is bad public policy," Lubin said. "Both would be detours from real reform."
NYSUT represents 575,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.