Our current Assemblyman has worsened our state’s already poor educational climate. We currently spend $72.8 billion on education-3rd most in the nation, and $17,000 per pupil-most in the nation. However, our state ranks 34th in the nation in the subjects of math and science, and we are barely above that metric in reading (Institute of Education Sciences). This is unacceptable, especially given the amount we spend on education overall and per pupil. As your Assemblyman, I will advocate for the following policies to fix these problems:

-Immediately cut and cap administrator pay, currently clocking in at an average of $179,000 in most parts of the state. This will allow more money to go back into the classroom-where we need it.

-Cut or eliminate pay for suspended teachers who have been expelled from the classroom, yet still get paid: $100,000 in most cases.

-Start funding trade schools in a manner that will increase equity between students who wish to pursue a trade and a traditional college education.

-Bolster the requirements for an individual to become a teacher in the state; we must require teachers to take more credits in their desired teaching area-at least 60 undergraduate credits out of a total of 120 must be in their desired subject area. Studies have proven that teachers that have in-depth knowledge of their subjects produce better students (Ball, and McDiarmid 1-29). Furthermore, all prospective teachers must have at least a 3.0 graduate and undergraduate GPA combined. C level teachers will continue to yield C level students.

-Take measures to ensure that our schools are safer for both students and teachers, as school crime rates have risen 21% in recent years.

Micah Kellner has not sought to solve these issues. Instead, he attempts to satisfy his constituents by throwing money at the problem. As your Assemblyman, I will institute a multitude of different remedies instead of taking a placid approach just because I wish to keep my political career safe and to get the backing of the Teachers Union.

Sources: -Ball, Deborah Lowenberg, and G. Williamson McDiarmid. “The Subject Matter Preparation of Teachers.” National Center for Research on Teacher Education. 89.4 (1989): 1-29.

-Budget of the U.S. Government, “Comparison of State and Local Government Spending in the United States.”

– Budget of the U.S. Government, “United States Federal State and Local Government Spending Fiscal Year 2010.”

– Edelman, Susan, Weinstein, Farrah, Otis, Ginger Adams. “She’s in a Cla$$ by Herself: LI’s Half-Mil School Boss.” NY Post. 6 03 2011.

– Gootman, Alissa. “New York School Crime Up 21 Percent in First Third of Fiscal Year.” The New York Times. 15 02 2011.

– Institute of Education Sciences: National Center For Education Statistics, “State Education Data Profiles.”

-New York State Education Department: Office of Teaching Initiatives, “Certification From Start to Finish.”

-U.S. Department of Education, “Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Summary.” 14 02 2011.

Valkys, Michael. “Raises in Average Pay for School Administrators Outpaces Teachers” Poughkeepsie Journal. 3 05 2011.