State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced today that the first meeting between regional educational and business officials and the Senator was held for the purpose of crafting legislation to create a Tech Valley High School to be known as the Hudson Valley School of Science, Math, and Engineering. Senator Bonacic and Senator Larkin are working together on this project. A list of the meetings' attendees is attached.
"The jobs of tomorrow are in the fields of technology," stated Senator Bonacic. "We need to make sure that we have educational institutions that appropriately prepare students and provide the necessary educational background necessary to compete in the job market. This is an exciting venture."
"Albany and SUNY Albany have received significant State assistance in the development of technology and young people in that region will benefit from it. We are the fastest growing region in the State and a regional school with a focus on the jobs of tomorrow will help to ensure the future success of our students," stated Senator Bonacic.
Senator Bonacic said that under the Tech Valley High School Law signed by Governor Pataki, two BOCES districts will collaborate to build a regional school which will concentrate of technology. Under current law, BOCES districts offer vocational training, but students still attend their home school district for core curriculum activities such as English, Social Studies, Math, and Science. "This year's State budget includes a $1.5 million allocation for start up costs associated with the creation of these schools.
As with the recently signed "Tech Valley" legislation, the Senator said that their bill would not allow "cherry picking" such as was proposed in the 1980s "Excelsior School" model - which allowed only those students of exceptional academic achievement entry into the school.
"Students of diverse talents who want to focus their studies in the areas of science, math, and engineering deserve an opportunity to nuture their talents and energy in those areas. This nation's students are lagging behind compared to students in other countries particularly in the areas of study in math, science, and engineering. We need to make sure our region's children are not lagging behind anyone," stated Senator Bonacic. "This school offers hope for our future and the future generations to come."
The next meeting will be convened in mid-May.