2006 EDUCATION AND JOB TRAINING LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Following is The Business Council's 2006 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2006.
- Continue to support high standards and the Regents graduation requirements and oppose any legislation that would undermine them.
- Support the establishment of a Math and Science scholarship program to fund up to 500 competitive scholarships of up to $20,000 a year to New York college students who commit to major in science or math, and then to obtain teacher certification and teach in New York public schools for a minimum of five years.
- Support the provision of a 50 percent tax credit for individual or corporate contributions to scholarships in Math, Science and Engineering given to New York students attending New York colleges.
- Support funding for Just4kids.org and the establishment of a state Pathfinder Award for most improved schools.
- Support expanding the Liberty Partnership program to include a focus on encouraging students to get into math, science and engineering programs and ultimately jobs.
- Support maintaining high standards for career and technical education.
- Support the removal of the statutory cap on the creation of more charter schools
- Support pre-kindergarten programs for disadvantaged children.
- Support the use of technology to improve instruction, to ensure that children are technologically literate, to offer a wider range of courses through on-line learning, and to streamline administrative and management functions.
- Support making it easier for parents to choose which school they send their child to by supporting tax credits educational expenditures made by parents including tuition expenses.
- Support the establishment of public private partnerships to promote higher student achievement and linkages to the workforce.
- Support extending the school day and school year and professional development for teachers that is directly related to increasing student achievement of the state standards.
- Support differential pay for teachers in the high demand areas of math and science.
- Support the elimination of mandates and improvement in the ability of management to more cost-effectively utilize taxpayer dollars by repealing the Wicks Law and Triborough amendment to the Taylor Law.
- Support measures that make tenure laws more rational relative to teacher competence and that streamline the 3020-a processes.
- Support improvement in the equity and accountability of the school aid formula.
- Support improving special education reimbursement methodology to make it revenue neutral with regard to the placing or labeling of students in special education programs.
- Support SUNY Excelsior Research Faculty Initiative to reward universities for new gains in securing federal research grants by providing a 20 percent research match from state dollars and strongly support a similar program for independent research universities.
- Support predictable tuition increases in SUNY and CUNY senior and community colleges that don't exceed the Consumer Price Index.
- Support enabling SUNY and CUNY to charge differential tuition between campuses and/or programs.
- Support allowing SUNY and CUNY campuses to use any tuition increase revenues to continue their efforts to raise quality standards.
- Support restoration of unrestricted aid to independent colleges and universities (commonly known as Bundy Aid) and continued improvements and funding enhancements in the Tuition Assistance Program. Part of any tuition increases should also be devoted to offset the higher tuition costs for needy students.
- Support merit scholarships and any expansion of
- Support the provision of additional state dollars and support directing federal training dollars for incumbent worker training through employer consortium training programs.
- Support increased funding for community colleges to provide employer-specific training to individual employers on a contract course basis.
- Support individual training vouchers, based on income and circumstances, for individuals choosing short term non-degree training programs.
- Support expansion of the EPP (Employment Preparation Program) aid for adults who lack the basic skills needed to be successful in the job market. Allow employers to access such funds for on site GED programs. Support providing more basic skills training in the workplace.
- Support programs that provide teachers, guidance counselors and other educators with more information about careers and employer's skill requirements and expectations.
- Support requiring the state to approve qualified unilateral apprentice programs even where the employer is a participant in a Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.
- Support year-round youth programming that is focused on the exploration of high demand career opportunities, that motivate students to stay in school and meet and exceed the state's academic standards.
- Support the utilization of federal training and TANIF funds to enable employers to hire and "tryout" persons who have a history of multiple barriers to employment to overcome.