YONKERS, NY – March 24, 2014 — “The State Senate Majority Coalition, made up of Republicans and Independent Democrats, have betrayed the children of Yonkers in calling for “Mayoral Control” of the Yonkers Public Schools.
The elected Senators from Yonkers were not consulted. The many PTA and Town Hall meetings held by our representatives, attended by our parents, our teachers and our community members, repeatedly sent a clear message of “leave politics out of our schools”.
Our politicians in Albany should be informed by the voters/parents affected that the Majority Coalition at no time met with our state representatives or community leaders before their obvious political over-reach and betrayed our students.
The Mayor of Yonkers calls for action. Where was the action when year after year Yonkers City Hall placed all deficits on the school side of the budget? Where was the action in 2009 when the City demanded $1,000,000 from the school district be transferred to the city, and never repaid the “loan”?
While the Yonkers Federation of Teachers has great respect for Mayor Spano, different mayors over the years have taken money out of the school budget to fill holes in the city’s budget. In early 2000, as New York State sent down many millions of dollars in a settlement with the city, the then Mayor of Yonkers repeatedly reduced the funding to the schools of Yonkers. The City never replaced the $30 million in cuts during those years. City Hall should spend time solving our financial problems and not complicate education with more politics.
We stand with the many parents who have publicly stated that they want educators, not politicians, running our schools. Every school district in Westchester has an elected Board of Education. Why doesn’t Yonkers?”
Editor’s Note: The Yonkers Tribune learned of this document on March 24, 2014, but the press release was dated March 14, 2014.
Pat Puleo is president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers (YFT).