2003 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
EDUCATION AND JOB TRAINING
Following is The Business Council's 2003 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2003.
- Maintain strong support for the higher standards and graduation requirements. Specifically support the requirement that students ultimately pass five Regents exams (English Language Arts, Math, Science and two social studies) in order to receive a high school diploma. Note: These requirements are being phased-in and will be in full effect for students seeking to graduate in 2004.
- Require neighboring school districts to accept students from schools designated as in need of improvement under the Federal No Child Left Behind law and regulations. Federal State, and local Funds would follow the student to the new school and district. No school would be required to offer more than 5 percent of its total enrollment for such transfers.
- Support the re-authorization of New York State's charter school law.
tax credits for parents who send their children to non-public schools.
legislation to establish public private partnerships for higher student
achievement and workforce development.
course work content flexibility so that students can achieve the standards
and graduation requirements with a career and technical education concentration
should they opt to do so.
measures that enable schools to provide extra help to students struggling
to meet the standards including extending the school day and/or school
year, providing extra time or help after school or in summer school,
and providing professional development for teachers.
to support widespread dissemination of school report cards. Note:
New York State (as of January 1997) produces school report cards on
every public school building in the state. These report cards are available
from local school district offices, and also through the state education
department web site: http://www.nysed.gov
changes in special education reimbursement methodology to remove any
monetary incentive there may be with regard to the placement or labeling
the use of technology to improve instruction, to ensure that our children
are technologically literate, to offer a wider range of courses through
on-line learning, and to streamline administrative and management functions.
- Support the elimination of mandates:
experience shows adversely affect the order, safety, and optimal functioning
add to the costs of school construction such as the Wicks law;
- that hamper school governance and contribute to restrictive work rules that raise costs without improving results and are barriers to improving student achievement (such as the Triborough amendment).
increased management flexibility to ensure that schools have high quality
teachers, principals and administrators through pay related to performance
and the reform of tenure, and repeal of the Triborough provision and
any other such impediments to school improvement.
the creation of an incentive and reward system for teachers and schools
when substantial increases in student achievement levels have been gained
and/or are sustained.
the provision of early childhood education programs to all children
from low income families.
- Support measures that improve equity in the school aid formula. New York State currently has the third highest per pupil expenditure in the country, yet the wealth and ability of school districts to support their schools vary widely.
- Support a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to fund investments in technology with universities and businesses that enter into partnerships around micro/nanotechnology, photonics and information technology and genomics and biotechnology.
- 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 removal of the tuition differential for out-of-state students at SUNY and CUNY to attract high caliber students, to enhance the universities' prestige, and to bolster New York's potential work force.
- SUNY and CUNY campuses should be allowed 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 such scholarships.
- Support additional state 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. Support providing more basic skills training in the workplace.
- Support programs that provide teachers, guidance counselors and other educators with more information about 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 programing that is focused on the exploration of high demand career opportunities and that help youth meet the state's academic standards.