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Is the New York State Senate going to cut $1.4 Billion from schools?

[ State Senators John L. Sann, left, Liz Krueger and Carl Kruger, at a meeting on Monday in which the Senate proposed its budget. ]

In all the time the Dog has followed the budget moves in Albany, the state capital of New York….there hs always be a golden rule…..’No Cuts to the State’s School Districts’

So it is with wonderment that I see the piece I’m showcasing below….

I’m gonna say that I am very sceptical about this happening in the end…..that’s alot of money that will be taken from local schools…and although there is a huge (over $1.5 Billion )  hole in the state’s budget I’m going to be surprised if lawmakers up for election in eight months are going to drop this on the voters……

And don’t ask me how they are going to balance the budget...cause I don’t know…...
School financing, a perennial third rail of state politics, would be cut by $1.4 billion under a plan put forward on Monday by Senate Democrats trying to plug a budget deficit estimated at $9 billion.

The resolution the Senate passed constituted a grab bag from the $134 billion budget Gov. David A. Paterson introduced in January. It cut in many of the same areas the governor had, but also restored many of the reductions he had called for and rejected his most prominent revenue proposals.

The plan, which also counts on $700 million from the refinancing of tobacco bonds, was the Legislature’s first step toward laying out its own budget; it has a deadline of March 31. The Assembly is expected to adopt its own spending plan later this week.

Though the budget that ends up on Mr. Paterson’s desk could look quite different, Mr. Paterson praised the broad outlines of the Senate Democrats’ plan, which was adopted on a straight party-line vote.

“We are pleased to see that the Senate, for the most part, accepts the deficit reductions that we have made,” Mr. Paterson said Monday during an appearance at City Hall.

Senate Democrats, however, did not include the governor’s plans to tax sugary drinks, to raise the cigarette tax by $1, to $3.75, or to allow grocery stores to sell wine.

Their plan would leave spending for state parks at levels high enough that none would have to be closed and it would avoid deep cuts to the State University of New York and City University of New York systems.

But the plan essentially accepts the governor’s proposed education cuts, though it would distribute them differently — a move that was greeted with surprise in the halls of the Capitol, where teachers’ unions and public school lobbyists have long wielded great influence.

“It underscores the severity of the state’s budget problems that they are willing to accept a school aid cut,” said Edmund J. McMahon, director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a conservative-leaning research group. “Even they know you need to do this. And that’s a pretty significant thing.”

Democrats said they understood the significance of calling for such deep cuts to public schools, characterizing them as painful but unavoidable.

Asked why education, along with health care, was being singled out for cuts, Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, replied, “Because that’s where the money is.”

Whether those cuts would be included in the final budget passed by the Legislature was not clear. Senator John L. Sampson, leader of the Senate Democratic conference, said the budget resolution was merely a first step meant to jump-start the negotiation process.

“There will be a dialogue,” Mr. Sampson said. “This is just a resolution. This is a road map to where we want to go.”

Just last week, a group of 15 senators wrote to Mr. Paterson, telling him they would not support a budget that included spending reductions for schools.

In their plan, Senate Democrats also proposed cutting health care spending by about $641 million. That is less than the $1 billion reduction Mr. Paterson called for, but still amounts to an overall reduction of 1.3 percent to the Health Department’s budget. The department’s total budget would be $55.9 billion.

Advocates for public school teachers and administrators reacted with outrage to the Democrats’ plan.

The New York State School Boards Association estimated that it could cost 14,000 teachers their jobs.

Ernest Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, called the plan “unconscionable.”

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said it would result in deteriorating conditions at New York City schools, just as the financial crisis of the 1970s had. “The Senate’s proposal is a disaster in the making for the children in New York’s public schools,” Mr. Mulgrew said.

Others had different reasons for disliking the plan. Some found the Democrats’ budget had a too-good-to-be-true ring to it. “How did we balance this budget by restoring all these wonderful things?” asked Senator John A. DeFrancisco, a Republican from the Syracuse area. “Well, simple answer: It’s not balanced.”

Yep……

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March 23, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , | 3 Comments

‘No Child Left Behind ‘ will be changed…..

If the program gets away from its straight reliance on testing and numbers it will come a long way towards dealing with helping the children of America…and not just being a program that forces teachers, principals and school district’s to teach for a couple of months and then cram teaching ‘for the test’ the rest of the school year to get good test scores…

That is simply no way for students to learn…..

On Monday, Obama delivered his much-anticipated wish list for revamping NCLB to Congress, to largely positive reviews.

“A Blueprint for Reform,” as Obama’s outline is called, makes clear that one of the first things to be jettisoned is the name No Child Left Behind (in the same way that New York City real estate developers once tried to change the name of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood to Clinton, to distance itself from unsavory associations).

But the changes Obama envisions for the nation’s 10,000 schools go beyond cosmetics.

For more than a year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has told any group he’s spoken in front of that the current education law (one of George W. Bush’s signature pieces of legislation) is backwards — that rather than being “tight on goals and loose on how you get there,” it’s the opposite. The “Blueprint” seeks to rectify that. As George Wood, a high school principal in Stewart, Ohio, and the executive director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, says, “There’s a lot of [good] language about teaching, a lot of language about flexibility, a lot of language about districts being able to choose strategies that will work” for them.

For example, rather than just testing kids in English and math, the new outline allows schools to test in other subjects, recognizing the value that history, science, civics and other subjects bring to the student (and, expressing my own view here, perhaps in recognition of the richness that a well-rounded student brings to society).

In addition, the proposal shifts the focus from singling out under-performing schools to fostering a “race to the top” to reward successful reforms. It supports the expansion of public charter schools and calls for flexibility in how school districts spend federal dollars “as long as they are continuing to focus on what matters most — improving outcomes for students.” It also allows them to use federal grant funds “to provide differentiated compensation and career advancement opportunities to educators who are effective in increasing student academic achievement.”

There is also much in the plan aimed at closing many of the achievement gaps that plague our schools. One example is that states and districts eventually would have to equalize resources (including top teachers), leveling disparities between high- and low-poverty schools.

Along with greater flexibility, the administration is setting a higher bar. The president has called for all students to be college- or career-ready by 2020 (as opposed to the current law, which mandates that students be proficient in math and English by 2014). The change is a recognition that with a higher dropout rate than those of most industrialized nations and a cripplingly high percentage of college freshmen enrolled in remedial coursework, there’s an urgent need for high schools to prepare students for whatever comes next — and ultimately for success.

And whereas another criticism of NCLB has been that some states compensate for sub-par student performance with low standards and easy tests, the new outline emphasizes stringent standards, ideally achieved by adopting the new national “core” standards released last week by the National Governors Association and chief state school officers — or a tough-minded equivalent.

Mike Petrilli, who worked in the Bush administration and is now at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy group, writes that the proposals represent “a dramatic change in the federal role in education — one that would be more targeted, less prescriptive, and use a lighter touch on the vast majority of America’s schools.”

Not everyone is happy, however. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, has said that the proposal “places 100 percent of the responsibility on teachers and gives them zero percent of the authority.”

Dennis Van Roekel, head of the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers union), complained in a statement that “the ‘blueprint’ requires states to compete for critical resources, setting up another winners-and-losers scenario.” This would result, he said, in a “top-down scapegoating of teachers and not enough collaboration.”

As the Forum for Education and Democracy’s Wood points out, “Rhetoric always sounds good. It’s the difference between campaigning and governing. This is a campaign document.”

In other words, while this is a strong framework for the debate in the months to come, it’s only that. Exactly how No Child Left Behind will be reformed — and even the name the new law is given — will be hashed out in the months to come in Congress.

As usual…..

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

'No Child Left Behind ' will be changed…..

If the program gets away from its straight reliance on testing and numbers it will come a long way towards dealing with helping the children of America…and not just being a program that forces teachers, principals and school district’s to teach for a couple of months and then cram teaching ‘for the test’ the rest of the school year to get good test scores…

That is simply no way for students to learn…..

On Monday, Obama delivered his much-anticipated wish list for revamping NCLB to Congress, to largely positive reviews.

“A Blueprint for Reform,” as Obama’s outline is called, makes clear that one of the first things to be jettisoned is the name No Child Left Behind (in the same way that New York City real estate developers once tried to change the name of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood to Clinton, to distance itself from unsavory associations).

But the changes Obama envisions for the nation’s 10,000 schools go beyond cosmetics.

For more than a year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has told any group he’s spoken in front of that the current education law (one of George W. Bush’s signature pieces of legislation) is backwards — that rather than being “tight on goals and loose on how you get there,” it’s the opposite. The “Blueprint” seeks to rectify that. As George Wood, a high school principal in Stewart, Ohio, and the executive director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, says, “There’s a lot of [good] language about teaching, a lot of language about flexibility, a lot of language about districts being able to choose strategies that will work” for them.

For example, rather than just testing kids in English and math, the new outline allows schools to test in other subjects, recognizing the value that history, science, civics and other subjects bring to the student (and, expressing my own view here, perhaps in recognition of the richness that a well-rounded student brings to society).

In addition, the proposal shifts the focus from singling out under-performing schools to fostering a “race to the top” to reward successful reforms. It supports the expansion of public charter schools and calls for flexibility in how school districts spend federal dollars “as long as they are continuing to focus on what matters most — improving outcomes for students.” It also allows them to use federal grant funds “to provide differentiated compensation and career advancement opportunities to educators who are effective in increasing student academic achievement.”

There is also much in the plan aimed at closing many of the achievement gaps that plague our schools. One example is that states and districts eventually would have to equalize resources (including top teachers), leveling disparities between high- and low-poverty schools.

Along with greater flexibility, the administration is setting a higher bar. The president has called for all students to be college- or career-ready by 2020 (as opposed to the current law, which mandates that students be proficient in math and English by 2014). The change is a recognition that with a higher dropout rate than those of most industrialized nations and a cripplingly high percentage of college freshmen enrolled in remedial coursework, there’s an urgent need for high schools to prepare students for whatever comes next — and ultimately for success.

And whereas another criticism of NCLB has been that some states compensate for sub-par student performance with low standards and easy tests, the new outline emphasizes stringent standards, ideally achieved by adopting the new national “core” standards released last week by the National Governors Association and chief state school officers — or a tough-minded equivalent.

Mike Petrilli, who worked in the Bush administration and is now at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy group, writes that the proposals represent “a dramatic change in the federal role in education — one that would be more targeted, less prescriptive, and use a lighter touch on the vast majority of America’s schools.”

Not everyone is happy, however. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, has said that the proposal “places 100 percent of the responsibility on teachers and gives them zero percent of the authority.”

Dennis Van Roekel, head of the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teachers union), complained in a statement that “the ‘blueprint’ requires states to compete for critical resources, setting up another winners-and-losers scenario.” This would result, he said, in a “top-down scapegoating of teachers and not enough collaboration.”

As the Forum for Education and Democracy’s Wood points out, “Rhetoric always sounds good. It’s the difference between campaigning and governing. This is a campaign document.”

In other words, while this is a strong framework for the debate in the months to come, it’s only that. Exactly how No Child Left Behind will be reformed — and even the name the new law is given — will be hashed out in the months to come in Congress.

As usual…..

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Talkandpolitics……Schools and the next generation..

From Talkandpolitics…..

From Bob Herbert at NYTimes:

One section of the Maytown Elementary School in rural Maytown, Pa., was built in 1861. Another section was built in the late-1920s. There’s a time clock in the ancient gym that was donated by the class of 1946.

This is a school that could use an update. No, scratch that. It needs to be replaced.

Shelly Riedel, superintendent of the Donegal School District, which includes Maytown, told me that teachers can’t mount smart boards in their classrooms because of the asbestos “encapsulated” behind the walls. The asbestos is not dangerous as long as the walls are not disturbed. The electricity is not particularly reliable. A teacher who is using, say, an overhead projector has to check to make sure that other teachers are not using similar devices at the same time as that might cause an outage.

There is no air conditioning. And there is no money right now to replace the school, which has an enrollment of 237.

It goes on.. Booming deficits and ruined schools, this looks bad for 2030 and later on. It’s an important article, recommended reading here..

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Ecology, Education, Government, Media, Other Things, Politics, TalkandPolitcs, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The White House makes a run at improving “No Child Left Behind”…….

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.

The Dog is happy to see the Adminstartion try to affect change to this law……

While they will need Congress’s ok to do so something must be done…….The current law has set up a sysytem where children are taught for half of the semester …and ‘teaching to the test’ is the norm for second half of the semester…..where teacher’s, principal’s and school board’s fight feercly to ‘make the grade’ in the Federal School report card numbers…..least they be branded a ‘failing school’…while states and local disrtricts receive no funds to help them correct problems…….

Educators who have been briefed by administration officials said the proposals for changes in the main law governing the federal role in public schools would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions, associations of principals, school boards and other groups have found most objectionable.

Currently the education law requires the nation’s 98,000 public schools to make “adequate yearly progress” as measured by student test scores. Schools that miss their targets in reading and math must offer students the opportunity to transfer to other schools and free after-school tutoring. Schools that repeatedly miss targets face harsher sanctions, which can include staff dismissals and closings. All students are required to be proficient by 2014.

Educators have complained loudly in the eight years since the law was signed that it was branding tens of thousands of schools as failing but not forcing them to change.

In recent meetings with representatives of education groups, Department of Education officials have said they also want to eliminate the school ratings system built on making “adequate yearly progress” on student test scores.

Amen….This is much welcomed change…and Congress should go along……

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The White House makes a run at improving "No Child Left Behind"…….

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.

The Dog is happy to see the Adminstartion try to affect change to this law……

While they will need Congress’s ok to do so something must be done…….The current law has set up a sysytem where children are taught for half of the semester …and ‘teaching to the test’ is the norm for second half of the semester…..where teacher’s, principal’s and school board’s fight feercly to ‘make the grade’ in the Federal School report card numbers…..least they be branded a ‘failing school’…while states and local disrtricts receive no funds to help them correct problems…….

Educators who have been briefed by administration officials said the proposals for changes in the main law governing the federal role in public schools would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions, associations of principals, school boards and other groups have found most objectionable.

Currently the education law requires the nation’s 98,000 public schools to make “adequate yearly progress” as measured by student test scores. Schools that miss their targets in reading and math must offer students the opportunity to transfer to other schools and free after-school tutoring. Schools that repeatedly miss targets face harsher sanctions, which can include staff dismissals and closings. All students are required to be proficient by 2014.

Educators have complained loudly in the eight years since the law was signed that it was branding tens of thousands of schools as failing but not forcing them to change.

In recent meetings with representatives of education groups, Department of Education officials have said they also want to eliminate the school ratings system built on making “adequate yearly progress” on student test scores.

Amen….This is much welcomed change…and Congress should go along……

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

A small minority sect in Aftghanistan is doing good with education….not money….

In an interesting insight into the Afghanistan that the Western media does not concentrate on…we see in this piece from the New York Times that the Hazara sect is busy consolidating its hold on educating it’s youth…..these gains will certainly mean that after the Pashtun and Sunni’s keep fighting each other and decimate their population’s….the Hazara sect will come into control of the country…..while they are not fighters…..the shere numbers of their educated are their wave to the future…..

If the United States could isolate the bad guys….open the countries natural resources……get the countries military up to speed ……and have the country begin to get revenue from the resources …and help the educated …..the centuries old country could emerge as economic and stabilizing force in the region…..

Hopes and dreams…huh?

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Education, Family, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Religion, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment