Calling it “an excellent opportunity to have even more involvement in ensuring a quality education for all of our school children,” NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. recently announced his appointment as the ranking Democratic member of the New York State Senate Education Committee.
Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee since being elected in 2008, was chosen by Senate Minority Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to serve as the Conference’s point person on education funding and policy issues for the legislative session.
“As the father of two children attending New York City public schools, I have both a personal and public policy perspective in making sure that our students receive the best possible education,” said Addabbo. “Achieving this goal involves many moving parts, including adequate funding for schools, thoughtful education policy, support for teachers and school administrators, and ongoing communications with parents and other stakeholders.”
In addition to the critical educational challenges ahead facing the state during its budget negotiations, another major issue the Senate Education Committee might consider and monitor is the ongoing implementation of the “Next Generation Learning Standards,” which constitute revisions to the highly controversial Common Core requirements that have been so hotly debated in recent years.
“In the past I held town hall meetings and have spoken in the district on Common Core to talk directly to my constituents and education professionals about the over-reliance on standardized testing, issues surrounding teacher and principal evaluations, and other concerns,” said Addabbo. “Some of these issues are being addressed in the new standards, and I will be paying close attention to how the changes impact our school children and educators.”
The Education Committee will also be deeply involved in reviewing Governor Cuomo’s 2018-19 Executive Budget, which is scheduled for presentation to the Legislature on January 16. “Adequate funding for our City public schools and other underserved schools throughout our state is an ongoing concern,” Addabbo said. “While public school funding is always a top priority, we must also ensure support for children attending religious, charter and other types of schools, while providing special needs students with every opportunity for academic success.”
In addition to serving as the ranking member on the Senate Education Committee, Addabbo will retain his leadership roles as ranking member of both the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs, and on the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. He will also continue to serve as a member of the committees on Aging, Civil Service and Pensions, Environmental Conservation, and Labor.