“The only group without a lobbyist? The students.”

Yesterday Governor Cuomo delivered his second State of the State address. Prior to the address, there was rumor of a new governor’s commission to recommend education reform. That prediction came true and was featured in the governor’s comments regarding education, which are below. No details regarding the new commission have been released as of today. Also below are other highlights of the address that directly affect school districts and students.

“I learned my most important lesson in my first year as Governor in the area of public education … that everyone in public education has his or her own lobbyist.” He went on: “The only group without a lobbyist? The students.”

Commission to Examine Education

“Today, we are driven by the business of public education more than the achievement in public education. Maybe that’s why we spend more money than any other state but are 38th in graduation rates.

We have to change the paradigm. We need major reform in two areas:

  •  – Teacher accountability and student achievement. We need a meaningful teacher evaluation system. The legislation enacted in 2010 to qualify for

Race to the Top didn’t work.

  •  – Management efficiency. We must make our schools accountable for the results they achieve and the dollars they spend.
We cannot fail in our mission to reform public education, because we simply cannot fail our children. I will appoint a bipartisan education commission to work with the Legislature to recommend reforms in these key areas.”
 
Other Highlights
  • A call for a Tier 6 and public employee pension reform.
  • Statewide public hearings on mandate relief with a Mandate Relief Council.
  • Offer SUNY’s 60 other campuses the ability to compete for three $20 million challenge grants, with $10 million coming from the Executive and $10 from SUNY.
  • Curb child hunger by increasing participation in the food stamp program, removing barriers to participation, and eliminating the stigma associated with this program.
  • Promote employment of persons with disabilities and develop an Olmstead Implementation Plan to guide the transition of individuals from institutional to community-based care.
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