Tag Archives: Board of Regents

Education reform a priority for The Business Council

Although last week the New York State Board of Regents approved measures to adjust Common Core implementation in New York state — the class of 2022, instead of the class of 2017, will be the first to be required to pass the more rigorous requirements — The Business Council continues to support implementation and the higher academic standards, without delay.

The truth is these standards are much needed to help close the skills gap that exists between recent high school graduates and good paying, in-demand jobs. The Business Council is not the only organization that knows this crucial need.

A recently New York Times editorial, The Common Core in New York, highlights that although the rollout has been bumpy, giving  students a better chance at a good education, is needed and that the state “cannot afford to let this project founder.”

The New York Post recently highlighted how Common Core can help New York students who currently “trail their counterparts in several Asian countries and Russia on math tests.” The article notes that their competitiveness on science exams is even worse.

State Education Commissioner John King also received a show of support from Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, chair of the state Senate Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus. City and State quoted a joint statement from the legislators in an article who said, “While this has been an emotional debate with marked differences in public policy, there is no doubt that Commissioner King remains a public servant devoted to improving the education and welfare of New York’s kids. We will continue to work towards closing the achievement gap and other urgent issues with Commissioner King and other stakeholders.”

Governor Cuomo also recently announced a panel that will recommend improvements in the state’s rollout of the Common Core. The panel will be led by Business Council member Stan Litow, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, who has also led the pioneering Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) concept.

The Business Council of New York State encourages all businesses to sign an open letter of support for Common Core Learning Standards. Heather C. Briccetti Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. recently said, “The Business Council of New York State strongly supports the higher academic standards in the Common Core and believes that the state must continue to implement the curriculum without delay.  We also recognize that several corrective actions must be taken in order to be sure that there is a smooth transition to these new, more rigorous standards.

In other education news, a pro-charter schools group, Families for Excellent Schools, launched a campaign opposing New York City Mayor de Blasio’s recent reduction of $210 million in capital as well as a new charter rent policy. The Business Council is a staunch advocate for school choice. Charter schools offer parents and students an alternative to poorly performing public schools. The new Mayor’s efforts to place a moratorium on co-location places city charter schools — most of which fall in high-needs districts — in a position of fiscal uncertainty.

Business Council member, Time Warner Cable News’ blog, State of Politics, recently quoted Rafael Lois, the father of two Girls Prep Bronx scholars who appears in a Families for Excellent Schools video, “The de Blasio administration has said parent voices matter to them, but they seem to be discounting ours. My daughters are receiving an excellent education, which is their moral and legal right, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they continue to have these opportunities.”


Board of Regents seeks increase for schools

From the Wall Street Journal:

ALBANY—The Board of Regents is seeking a 3.5% increase in funds for New York state’s public schools, about $100 million more than what Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposes in his budget for the next fiscal year.

Education Commissioner John King outlined the board’s funding request, specifically in formula aid, during a joint budget hearing Tuesday of Assembly and Senate members.

The Regents propose a $75 million investment in full-day, pre-kindergarten programs for high-needs students and seek $9 million for overdue payments to hearing officers involved in tenured teacher cases. The plan also proposes $1.5 million for development of new English language arts exams for ninth- and tenth-grade students and $500,000 for a pilot computer testing program.

Mr. Cuomo’s proposal would set aside $25 million for pre-kindergarten programs in the form of competitive grants, along with $20 million in competitive grants for extended learning time and $11 million for stipends for high-performing teachers.

While competitive grants are useful for certain pilot programs, Mr. King said, programs that are proven effective, such as pre-kindergarten, should be available for all within the school aid formula. “The evidence is longstanding and overwhelming that pre-K is a good investment,” the commissioner said.

The Regents budget recommends a formula aid increase of $709 million, compared with $610 million in Mr. Cuomo’s plan. The governor would supplement spending with $203 million in fiscal stabilization funds and the competitive grants.

Lawmakers also heard from Council of School Superintendents Deputy Director Robert Lowry, who said that despite the proposed aid increase, 84% of districts would still receive less from the state than they did four years ago. Many districts see financial and educational insolvency in the future, he said.