Issues: Education

Parents call for permanent annex at Corona’s P.S. 143 to alleviate overcrowding

As reported by the Queens Courier:

Parents at one Corona school are saying enough is enough and are calling on officials to give their children more room to succeed.

Over a hundred parents and children gathered on Tuesday morning with state Senator Jose Peralta outside of P.S. 143, The Louis Armstrong Elementary School, located at 34-74 113th St., to propose the building of a permanent addition to the school to help alleviate the chronic overcrowding.

According to Peralta, the Corona elementary school was originally built to accommodate 900 students, yet currently there are about 1,800 students enrolled at the site. This causes some children to have lunch at 9:50 a.m. and a large number of students have to take their classes outside of the school’s building.

For full article, click here.

April 16, 2015
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Hundreds Of Parents Call For PS 143 Annex

As reported by the Queens Tribune:

About 150 parents lined the asphalt outside Louis Armstrong elementary school on Tuesday to join State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) in calling for a permanent addition to the severely overcrowded school.

According to Peralta, the school – PS 143 in Corona – operates at double the capacity the original building was constructed to hold. He said that about 700 are in extra classroom space, with around 250 more at an annex on 37th Avenue that neighbors PS 19, which is slated to see its own decades-old trailers replaced by a new permanent addition.

For full article, click here.

April 16, 2015
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STATE SENATOR JEFF KLEIN ANNOUNCES $18,000 IN PROJECT BOOST FUNDS FOR COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE FOR MATH & SCIENCE

New Funding Boosts Local High School’s Enrichment Opportunities for Hundreds of Students

BRONX, NY - State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), joined by more than 100 school administrators, parents and students announced $18,000 in Project BOOST (Building Options and Opportunities for Students) funding for the Collegiate Institute for Math and Science on Wednesday, April 15th in the Bronx. The announcement came at the school’s annual spring art show.

April 16, 2015
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Murphy announces public comment period on teacher evals, reducing testing

YORKTOWN, NY - One lawmaker feels that both opponents and supporters of data-driven instruction deserve the chance to be heard by policy-makers as they implement new regulations on teacher evaluations. State Senator Terrence P. Murphy, author of the Parental Refusal Act in the State Senate, today said people have the opportunity to be heard during a newly-announced public comment period called for under the recently passed state budget.

April 15, 2015
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Education Update

Many of you have contacted me to express your concern regarding the education policies adopted in the 2015-16 New York State Budget.  As someone who shares a passionate belief in our teachers and our schools, and a deep personal and professional commitment to our children's future, I greatly appreciate the time and effort that many of you have taken to communicate your views about this important issue.

 

April 15, 2015
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CHECK IT OUT! AREA READERS ‘LOVE OUR LIBRARIES’

Fulton Named Tops Among Local Libraries; 55 Librarians Named Best

Fulton Public Library in Oswego County was selected as the favorite among 43 local libraries that gained votes—and 55 local librarians won rave reviews—in an online poll conducted by Senator Patty Ritchie to mark National Library Week, April 12- 18.

More than 200 votes were cast for the region’s best libraries and most outstanding librarians. 

“Today, libraries are so much more than books, they are centers of our communities where people have endless opportunities to expand their horizons, learn and grow,” said Senator Ritchie.

April 15, 2015
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Senator Jose Peralta proposes the construction of a permanent addition to PS 143 to alleviate chronic overcrowding

State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), joined by about 100 parents, today proposed to build a permanent addition to Corona’s Public School 143, The Louis Armstrong Elementary School, to alleviate the chronic overcrowding at the facility. The new annex would replace the current mini-building and the six temporary classroom units (trailers).

“No child should be educated in a trailer,” Senator Peralta said. “Especially in 21st Century New York City, to have kids learning in trailers is just unthinkable and it must stop.”

Senator Peralta noted the area where the building would be constructed belongs to the Parks and Recreation Department. Senator Peralta has continually reached out to Parks, the Department of Education and the School Construction Authority starting two years ago asking the city agencies to work together and consider his proposal.

In response to the proposal, then Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm wrote: “We agree that one potential solution to the overcrowding at P.S. 143 would be to build a permanent addition on site where the mini-building and temporary classroom units (TCUs) are currently located. As you are aware, that land is owned by the Parks Department.”

Last April, in relation to the proposal to build a permanent addition to PS 143, the Parks Department wrote to Senator Peralta and said, “my staff has been in discussions with the School Construction Authority regarding the proposed school expansion that would result in the permanent elimination of a portion of a jointly-operated playground.” The Department added, “Parks and the SCA agreed to work together to address the open space requirements for the school and surrounding community should a permanent school annex be constructed.”

“As of today, there has been no response to the proposal and obviously no action has been taken,” Senator Peralta lamented. “I understand the need for recreational area, but PS 143 is atypical to schools in my community in that there is a good deal of open and recreational space on its grounds and immediately nearby.”

PS 143 was built for about 900 students, and today enrolls about 1,800. Because of this acute overcrowding, the first lunch period begins at 9.50 a.m.

“We, as parents, support Senator Peralta’s proposal. And if the new building becomes a reality, I am sure the academic achievements of our kids will improve because there would be less students per classroom,” said Angelica Salgado, mother of a first and third graders at PS 143 and president of the Parent-Teacher Association. “We need this annex. Our kids deserve better.”

“Our children deserve better,” Senator Peralta, member of the New York Senate Committee on Education, said. “I will not rest until there is a seat for every child. That is the least I can do to ensure that our kids are educated in a decent environment and not in run-down trailers. Good intentions are fine, but time has come to act. And again, I hope the Department of Education, the School Construction Authority and the Parks Department go beyond good words and make the proposal to build a permanent addition to PS 143 real.”

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April 14, 2015
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Senator Panepinto (D-Buffalo) is Joined by Assemblyman Ray Walter (R-Amherst), Assemblyman Michael Kearns (D-Buffalo), and Public Education Community to Rebuke Ill-vetted High Stakes Testing on Eve of State Exams

Panepinto: “There is no correlation between the over-testing of our children and the effectiveness of our teachers.

On Monday, April 13th, Senator Marc Panepinto stood united with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, teachers, administrators, school board members, and parents in a critical push to strengthen awareness around New York’s ill-vetted high stakes testing problem. The Senator called for a more pragmatic and unified approach to standardized exams and their implications on the future of our children. The gathering took place in Senator Panepinto's home district, the Kenmore-Tonawanda Union Free School District, where he grew up and attended public school. In addition to delivering the news that – after much contemplation – his family made the decision to opt out his 8th grade daughter from tomorrow’s standardized tests, he made the following comments:

“With less than 24 hours before children across the New York sit down for their state exams, one thing is clear – the state has yet to address the excessive amount of problems that New Yorkers have with this flawed method of testing. Ill-vetted high stakes testing is a stress to students, parents, and educators not to mention an imperfect method for measuring student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and school progress. The paradigm is upside down. We are supposed to be educating our children to do well on tests, not educating them to evaluate their teachers. That’s not what’s supposed to happen in the classroom.”

April 14, 2015
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Senator Jesse Hamilton, Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, and NYC Council Member Brad Lander to Hold Forum on High Stakes Testing

Forum to bring together principals, teachers, parents, and education advocates for community dialogue

Brooklyn, NY – Senator Hamilton, Assembly Member Simon, and Council Member Lander will co-host a forum on Wednesday April 15, 2015 (7pm - 9pm) at the Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll St, Brooklyn.

April 13, 2015
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Senator Comrie Rejects State Education Bill

As the legislature reached the sunset of its 2015 budget season, Senator Comrie joined many of his colleagues in the Democratic Conference to vote ‘no’ on an education package that failed to address the needs of New York’s children and families.

April 8, 2015
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Forum/Town Hall: Senator Comrie's Educational Leadership Breakfast

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to join me and our partner Healthfirst in recognizing community educational leaders at my office’s 1st Annual Educational Leadership Awards Breakfast ceremony.

April 30, 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
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SENATOR BONACIC STATEMENT ON EDUCATION REFORMS IN 2015-16 STATE BUDGET

Governor Cuomo stated emphatically that if the legislature did not include education reforms in the budget, he would not sign it and withhold any increase in state aid.  Further, the Governor tied education reform, including counting student test scores as 50% of a teacher’s evaluation, to the distribution of increased school aid.

April 7, 2015
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White Plains High School Tour

(White Plains - April 7th) Senator Stewart-Cousins toured White Plains High School with School Superintendent Timothy Connors, Principal Ellen Doherty and White Plains Teacher's Association President Kerry Broderick, a biology teacher here. She had a chance to see a science lab, an art class and digital art display, and a workout room with donated equipment. An impressive school with 2,100 students!

April 7, 2015
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STATE SENATOR JEFF KLEIN FUNDS FREE SPRING BREAK CAMP FOR STUDENTS AT P.S. 83

Klein, United Federation of Teachers, P.S. 83 Partner to Provide Week-Long Camp to Students and Families Through NYC Community Learning Schools Initiative

April 7, 2015
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Senator Hamilton colloquy with Senator Flanagan on education policy

Senator Hamilton underscored the importance of focusing on educational leadership and avoiding scapegoating teachers saying, "There has to be some accountability somewhere and it starts from the top." 

Senator Hamilton remarked, "We're putting emphasis on teachers, but we're not putting emphasis on the person or the entity that's in charge of the state educational department." Senator Hamilton continued, "How much time do we give the state Education Department to turn around the system?"

April 6, 2015
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Senator Flanagan Discusses Budget On Capitol Pressroom

Senator John Flanagan (New York State) discusses the state budget with Susan Arbetter - April 3, 2015

April 6, 2015
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Senator O'Mara's weekly column 'From the Capitol' ~ for the week of April 6, 2015 ~ "Education debate at center of new state budget"

Senator O'Mara offers his weekly perspective on many of the key challenges and issues facing the Legislature, as well as on legislative actions, local initiatives, state programs and policies, and more. Stop back every Monday for Senator O'Mara's latest column "From the Capitol..."

This week, "Education debate at center of new state budget"

April 6, 2015
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Sen. Ortt Recaps Education Portion of State Budget

Senator Ortt outlines the education portion of the 2015-16 New York State Budget. The budget increases education aid, reduces over-testing and protects our children by kicking convicted, violent offenders out of the classroom. 

April 2, 2015
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2015-16 State Budget Supports Important Programs

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says the $142-billion 2015-16 state budget provides critical funding to important state programs while controlling the size and cost of government.  The state’s fifth consecutive on-time budget keeps spending within a two-percent cap, increases aid to education, rejects tax increases and provides property tax relief for homeowners.  The spending plan also includes funding for regional assets such as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the NFTA and Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

April 1, 2015
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RITCHIE: BUDGET INCLUDES $5 MILLION INCREASE IN AID FOR LIBRARIES

Libraries Statewide to Receive $91.6 Million in Funding 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the new state spending plan includes $91.6 million—which is a $5 million increase in aid over the Governor’s proposal— to help support libraries in their efforts to provide books, technology, educational resources, entertainment and more to people across the state. 

In addition, the new State Budget also includes $14 million in library construction aid, which will allow libraries across the state to make upgrades to their facilities. 

“The libraries that dot our region provide countless people with opportunities to expand their horizons and learn new things,” said Senator Ritchie.

April 1, 2015
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