State Senate Majority Conference Urges City to Improve School Governance

Pedro Espada, Jr.

July 23, 2009

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2009
Contact: Steve Mangione | | 914-403-4072 (Senator Espada)

 State Senate Majority Conference Urges City to Improve School Governance

(New York, NY) State Senate leaders joined dozens of parents from across
the city on the steps of City Hall to urge Mayor Bloomberg to support
legislation that would include parental involvement and training.

“Parents play a decisive role in the educational outcomes of their
children,” said Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. (D-Bronx). “Even
when our schools were performing at their lowest point, we witnessed the
power of parental involvement, which can be the difference between an
enriching experience and failure for students. Parental involvement is the
single most powerful factor in children’s education, more so than policy,
edicts and even resources. Just like Sonia Sotomayor’s mother played a key
role in her educational achievements, every parent of every child in the
city’s public schools have the same opportunity and responsibility to do
the same for their children. We must empower them so they can help their
children achieve.”

Senate Democrats have proposed changes to the Assembly Bill on school
governance, including a new parent training institute, promotion of the
arts, and a council to monitor police in the schools.

“I join with my colleagues in the New York State Senate in sending a very
clear message, said Senator Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona). “New York needs a
new school governance plan that truly empowers parents and delivers the
highest level of education possible to New York’s more than 1.1 million
public school children.”

“It’s time to move away from war of words surrounding the school governance
issue and to move forward with the Senate’s goal of crafting legislation
that improves the transparency and accountability of the Department of
Education, including giving parents the essential voice in the governance
of our schools,” said Senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn).

“As a parent, I understand the importance of parents being involved in the
education of their children,” said Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica).
“This is about increasing the access and accountability for 1.1 million
school children and their parents.”

“Increasing parents' involvement in their children's schools should not be
a point of contention,” said Senator Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn). “Alleged
gains in New York City schools must be analyzed by an independent entity,
and this should not be a point of contention.    We cannot be satisfied.
We must make the necessary changes so our kids in NYC can compete with kids
in Budapest and the students of New York can compete with the students of
New Zealand.   We must insist on a well-rounded education, more oversight,
and the participation of concerned parents and educators.   Then we will
see true improvements in test scores, graduation rates, and dropout
statistics.   All powers, at all levels of government, have certain checks
on them, and school governance should be refined further and further to
provide the best education we can to our children.”

“After two years of calling for Chancellor Joel Klein's resignation for the
lousy job this Administration is doing to educate our children, New York
City Comptroller Bill Thompson has joined me,” said Senator Ruben Diaz,
Sr.(D-Bronx). “I am hopeful that Bill Thompson will not be the only one who
will join me.   It's never too late to open our eyes and see the truth.”

The Senators were joined by parent groups from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and