Leaders React to State of the State
Written By: Joe Melillo
With everything that Governor Cuomo did talk about Wednesday in his State of the State address, some are upset about some of the topics he didn’t talk about.
New York (WENY) - With everything that Governor Cuomo did talk about Wednesday in his State of the State address, some are upset about some of the topics he didn't talk about. Pressing issues like hydrofracking and mandate relief were left out, making some leaders question the Governor's priorities. State Funding for education and mandate relief are right at the top of that list. Both topics are big concerns for leaders here in the Southern Tier.
New York senator Tom O'Mara says he wants to see a more detailed plan to New York's fiscal issues, not just ideas, and for O'Mara that starts with mandate relief.
"I know our upstate local governments are struggling very much under the property tax cap,” says O'Mara. “I think that was an important reform effort to undertake a couple of years ago but it was promised to come with mandate relief, that the governor promised, which he continues to not follow through on his pledge of mandate relief that we so desperately need for our counties and school districts.”
Elmira City School District Superintendent Joe Hochreiter liked Governor Cuomo's proposals to reward teachers and create more time in the classroom for students.
“Which are nice and great and all wonderful blue sky ideas but he has a vision for the future of education in new york state that is light years apart from our current reality here,” says Hochreiter.
Hochriter also says the reality is schools are struggling to survive, with no help in site. He believes if funding doesn't come soon, schools could become "skeleton" schools, where only core curriculum is taught and nothing more.
“I'd like to have the $20 million cut over the last 4 years back first. I'd like to be able to restore art, music, phys ed, sports programs. I'd like to go back and refill all the things that we cut before we start talking about extended school days and school year,”
School districts will get to see exactly how much funding they are getting from the state very soon. Governor Cuomo is expected to release his education budget in the next few months.