Nearly Fifty Business And Community Leaders Call For Technology School In Hudson Valley

John J. Bonacic

July 10, 2007

Forty-seven business and community leaders across the Hudson Valley today called for the enactment of Senate Bill 669/Assembly Bill 1277. This legislation, authorizing the creation of the Hudson Valley School of Math, Science and Engineering, is sponsored by State Senators John Bonacic and William J. Larkin, Jr. and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

In 2006, the Senate unanimously passed the bill and, again, unanimously passed it in May, 2007. The Assembly has not acted on the bill.

"IBM, FALA Technologies, Inc., Rondout Savings Bank, Wilber National Bank, Viking Industries, Alcoa Fastening Systems, and SUNY New Paltz are leading industries and educational facilities in the Hudson Valley. There is broad and demonstrated community support and a strong desire by BOCES to see this legislation become law in the next three days," Senator Bonacic said.

On Tuesday, June 19, Ulster BOCES Superintendent Martin Ruglis traveled to Albany to meet with Legislators in support of the proposal, which was unveiled by Senator Bonacic before the Ulster Chamber of Commerce in 2006.

The letter in support of the legislation, signed by the 47 business and community leaders, reads in part: "We do not want to see our children leaving the Hudson Valley for jobs in North Carolina, Ohio, and Arizona. We expect the Legislature to create educational opportunity to . . . compete in the global . . . economy. The time for action is NOW. Please encourage the Assembly to act on this legislation so that the Hudson Valley School of Math, Science and Engineering can become a reality this year."

A technology based high school will open in the Albany area in two months. That school Tech Valley High School, had its legislation pass through the Assembly in four days. Technology institutes around the nation (i.e. - are gaining praise for innovative educational opportunities for children.

"Delay in offering new educational opportunities for the children in the Hudson Valley is inexcusable. The Assembly has had this bill for over a year. BOCES wants the legislation; the business community wants the legislation. We call upon the Assembly's leadership to pass this legislation before the 2007 Legislative Session ends on Thursday, so that the two BOCES, which serve Orange and Ulster Counties, can start to take the legal steps necessary to form this school and open up new educational opportunities for children in the Hudson Valley," concluded Senator Bonacic.