Calling On U.S. Senators To Protect School Funding From Potential Cuts

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference today wrote to U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to ask them to keep New York’s federal school funding at its current level. Schools in New York State recently completed another round of Common Core testing. However, nearly 200,000 students refused the tests, prompting federal education officials to threaten the continuation of school funding.
In recent public comments, U.S Education Secretary Arne Duncan indicated the federal government could withhold funding if school districts don’t meet a 95 percent participation rate for the Common Core testing. Leader Kolb and the Assembly Minority Conference have called on Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand to protect school funding.
The letter from the Minority Conference reads:
“Withholding federal resources threatens the ability of our schools to maintain staffing levels, provide needed programs, and give our children a high-quality education. We want to afford students every opportunity to succeed and learn, but that demands thoughtful reforms not unfair punishment.”
“As state leaders, it is our duty to provide children with the best education possible,” Leader Kolb said. “If federal resources are withheld, our schools will not be able to maintain staffing levels or provide needed programs, and our children will not receive a high-quality education. It is time to stop playing politics with our children’s future and fix the education system.”
“Change is possible, but we have to work together to see progress,” said Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square), Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Committee on Education. “Members of the Assembly Minority and I began searching for a solution two years ago when we toured New York State to speak to parents, educators and members of the community about Common Core. From that we developed the APPLE plan. We have worked long and hard to resolve the issues with our education system, and withholding funding will penalize our districts and unfairly punish students.”

“My colleagues and I have made it our obligation to facilitate improvements within our education system,” said Assemblyman Al Graf (R,C,I-Holbrook), member of the Assembly Committee on Education. “We have seen the damage that the Common Core testing has caused to our families and educators; it is no secret that it is not working. We hope that Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand will join the fight to protect our children at the federal level.”

Editor’s Note: A copy of the letter is available at:

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