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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 

Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.

2020Talks - August 12, 2020 

California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

Parents to Cuomo: “Not Cool to Take From Our Schools”

January 25, 2011

ALBANY, N.Y. - Education activists, parents, teachers and legislators today are launching a statewide drive to send their message that the $1.4 billion slashed from education programs last year was "enough, already," and that more cuts would be "devastating."

The budget expected to be introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo next week promises to call for steep cuts, especially in education. Ivette Alfonso of Albany, who has a 4-year-old daughter in pre-kindergarten, says she's not happy with Cuomo's approach.

"It's not cool to take from our schools. We understand that there is a budget deficit. However, you cannot do it on the backs of our children."

Alfonso is a member of the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), which is releasing a white paper showing that further education cuts will disproportionately hurt impoverished and minority students. Cuomo acknowledges his budget will cause "great pain" but says the state is in dire financial shape.

Dr. Pedro Noguera, who teaches at New York University and specializes in urban education, says he thinks Cuomo wants to be fiscally responsible but also innovative in restoring New York's economic greatness and keeping everyone sharing in new prosperity.

"The only way you can do that is if schools and universities are central to the plan for the future - which means we can't simply just rely on old strategies that haven't worked in the past or simply cut and not think about how that will impact the quality of what we provide to children."

Alfonso says the Legislature shouldn't allow a 2008 progressive income-tax measure to expire this year. She says it impelled wealthier New Yorkers to give their fair share of support to a financially strapped state education system.

"Last year we had a really massive cut of $1.4 billion, which has meant layoff of teachers, more kids in the classrooms, elimination of programs. Now, if we have another big cut on top of that, it's going to be absolutely devastating."

Noguera says all areas of society will benefit from creative approaches to funding education.

"We need to figure out ways to make sure that, even during a time of fiscal instability, that we are not damaging the education we provide to kids and hurting our own future in the process."

The AQE plans news events today in Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and New York City. The AQE and the teachers' union, New York State United Teachers, are joining forces in the effort.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY