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Letter: Public schools need a different governor

Public schools need a different governor

Supporters of traditional public schools should vigorously support an alternative candidate in this year’s gubernatorial race. In 2013, the governor said school districts like Buffalo’s  should face some sort of “death penalty,” and in 2014 he called attempts to slow teacher evaluations a “real tragedy.”

Public schools in New York have lost $8.5 billion since 2010, and the governor has not moved to eliminate the detrimental and painful gap elimination adjustment. 

In fact, this year’s budget expands the disastrous effects of the tax cap by incentivizing local entities to keep property taxes flat.

While New Yorkers have rallied in opposition to the Common Core standards and testing, The News reported that the governor “still supports the adoption of national Common Core standards …”  

While New York State United Teachers has lost some 30,000-plus members, the governor has granted a permanent tax cut to the wealthiest in New York.

We must do better than supporting the de-funding of traditional public schools and be more resourceful than offering a “death penalty” to our urban schools. We should point out the real tragedy is insisting on a deeply flawed evaluative process for public teachers while not evaluating charter school teachers.  

We have to invest in our children by eliminating the gap elimination adjustment and tax cap and returning to state standards designed by New Yorkers, not some ambiguous nonprofit.

Supporters of traditional public schools must find the conviction to vote for the candidate who most supports the values and principles that once made traditional public schools in New York the envy of the nation.

Kevin M. Gibson

Buffalo teacher

Town of Tonawanda