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Spitzer Announces "Tough Love" for School Reform

January 30, 2007

Longer school days, more accountability, and increased transparency in school finances are all on Governor Spitzer's menu for education reform. Speaking yesterday, the governor laid out major reforms, that New York State United Teachers president Richard Iannuzzi says will hold administrators responsible for student performance.

"Resources, reforms, results. It's a good message and it should provide the excellence and equity we'd like to see happen in New York."

The reform package is aimed largely at schools expected to receive some of an additional three billion dollars in state funding this year. The Governor also renewed his call for universal pre-k for all New York children. Janet Walerstein of the Child Care Council of Suffolk supports pre-k, and stresses that children need early care and education, even before pre-kindergarten.

"Looking at what's happening before pre-kindergarten because children are born ready to learn and how we deal with that prior to pre-kindergarten."

David Cantor, spokesperson for the New York City Board of Education said Spitzer's reforms take the politics out of the current school funding formula.

"No one really understands how school funding works. It's based on innumerable patronage deals and favors that make no sense anymore."

No funding details yet on the school plan. Spitzer's budget will be announced on Wednesday.

Michael Clifford/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NY