By FREDRIC U. DICKER, State Editor - February 24, 2011
ALBANY -- Mayor Bloomberg's drive to end "last in/first out" protections for underachieving city teachers got a big boost in the state Senate last night with the introduction of a measure to end the union-backed practice, The Post has learned.
To gather expert testimony on the most effective way for New York State to proceed in its efforts to provide tax relief to its residents while protecting valuable services, Senator Jack M. Martins, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, and Senator John Flanagan, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, hosted a joint hearing entitled “The True Path to Reducing New York’s Real Property Tax Burden: Mandate Relief and Tax Caps”.
Senator George Maziarz recently visited Spruce Elementary School in North Tonawanda to meet with dozens of sixth graders and read the popular story, "The Giverbacker Parade." Senator Maziarz fielded questions from the kids and spoke to them about the importance of giving back to their community.
Nearly three years have passed since dangerous levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discovered in P.S 199 on West 70 Street and a number of other New York City public schools. While much progress has been made in remediating contamination at a few select schools, it is unacceptable that there is still no City-wide plan to address this problem. The Bloomberg administration’s intransigence is particularly disturbing in light of clear evidence of PCB leakage from light ballasts in schools built or substantially renovated between 1950 and 1978.
Senator Jack Martins welcomed a group of Nassau BOCES students and staff at the State Capitol to discuss education and program funding for BOCES classes and initiatives. Principal James Clark led the delegation made up of Steve Witt, Sue Bergstrom, Shirlene Blake-Neil, Ryan Llanos, Joshua DaSilva and Cynthia Cruz-Melgran. "Programs like Nassau BOCES help all of our students reach as far and wide as they dream. Not only does BOCES offer non-traditional programs and services, but they offer critical skills for students in our community's schools. I was really glad to sit down and talk with all of them," Senator Martins said.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently honored Jun Kit “Timothy” He when the Senator visited Manhasset High School. Tim was one of the semi-finalists in the 70th Intel Science Talent Search competition.
Tim’s project, “Gene Expression Profiling and EKG: The Development of a Novel Prognostic Mechanism for Cardiac Allograft Rejection,” addressed heart transplant recipients. His project used gene expression levels in white blood cells and EKG variables to create an equation that can predict rejection without the biopsy.
Senator Jack M. Martins continued his tour of schools around the 7th Senate District at Manhasset High School where he met with Manhasset School Superintendent Charles Cardillo, Manhasset Board of Education President Cindy Cardinal and board members Patricia Aitken, Regina Rule and Craig Anderson.
Senator Martins discussed with Superintendent Cardillo and the board members such issues that will affect school districts such as the Governor’s budget and the proposed cuts in state aid to Long Island schools as well as the tax cap.
Griffo: Local Schools Use Opportunity To Press For Balance in Education Aid
Balance was the critical issue addressed by local school leaders who this week accepted Senator Joseph A. Griffo’s offer to meet personally with Senate Education Committee Chair John Flanagan to discuss school aid in the coming state budget.
Chairwoman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus
“Mayor Bloomberg claims activist parents were disrespecting him simply because they questioned his continued unilateral control of the public schools. The mayor’s irresponsible commentary fails to truly address the concerns articulated by parents and students.
“It is particularly ironic to hear the mayor’s complaints of disrespect after Cathie Black proposed population control as a means to reduce overcrowding, and reportedly sat through important meetings focused on her blackberry, not the content of the conversations.
Senator Jack M. Martins last week visited the Manorhaven School in Port Washington for Cultural Studies Week. The school library was transformed into the country of Ireland as the students had an opportunity to learn about the Irish culture. Senator Martins met with Port Washington School Superintendent Dr. Geoff Gordon and Manorhaven School Principal Bonni Cohen.
Students learned about Irish customs and traditions. Each student received a castle stamp to represent their “visit” to Ireland, where the students learned from 30 boards that displayed educational information about the country.
Regional Collective Bargaining among measures to lower costs, preserve educational quality
The Independent Democratic Conference today introduced a mandate relief package that will help schools reduce costs, maintain educational quality and ultimately help with the implementation of a tax cap.
"Mandate relief is a key component of the Independent Democratic Conference’s plans to reduce the tax burden on New Yorkers,” Senator David J. Valesky, (D-Oneida), said. “If we are asking school districts to reduce spending, it only makes sense to provide them with tools to maximize efficiency and minimize the pressure caused by unfunded state mandates."
Albany, NY- Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) met this week with members of Eastern Suffolk BOCES. The group was in Albany to discuss a number of issues with Senator Zeldin. Topics ranged from an overview of BOCES services to the state's budget cuts. School districts have been using BOCES programs for shared services with other school districts. Pictured here with Senator Zeldin from left to right: Senator Zeldin, Terry Cucina, Cheryl Rosolie, Linda Dackow and Francis Nilsen.
Hauppauge, NY- Senate Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) was recently honored by local school districts for his interest and dedication to local education issues. Pictured here, Senator Zeldin (Left) was presented this award by local students who attended the Longwood School District’s 7th annual Regional Legislative Breakfast.