Dr. Nader Sayegh, Esq. Within Days to Make Official His Candidacy for New York State Assembly District 90
No One More Qualified Than Dr. Nader Sayegh, Esq., To Gain Consensus To An Equitable Formula Among Fellow New York State Legislators
The Hezitorial Regarding An Equitable Funding Formula
The City of Yonkers (CoY) has long suffered the inequity of the school funding formula to which it is ill served. CoY is the fourth largest city in New York State. Its median income is one of the lowest in Westchester County. Yonkers is a blatant aberration of socio-economic means among a conglomeration of many wealthier villages, towns, and cities that are likewise located in the suburbs bordering New York City to our immediate south. The greater wealth and capacity of communities and neighbors near and far from Yonkers’ borders is not why Yonkers finds itself in a fiscal state of diminished capacity for remedy. Most, if not all responsibility for failure falls before the many in government who were quick to help themselves, professed knowledge over Yonkers’ plight, yet years hence, we are at a worse circumstance than before because that which was said has proven to be false.
The New York State Legislature has learned that when Yonkers pleads to be bailed out of predicaments of its own making, they do so selfishly. Yonkers City Hall has ritualized its annual whoa, with tin cup in hand, by coercing its appointees, employees, and a few parents to do their bidding, specifically to ask for more money, bemoaning as they do repeatedly ad nauseum in the august chambers of the New York State Legislature of its travail.
Yonkers Mayor’s have been flummoxed over how to competently conduct its fiscal crises. History reveals Yonkers lack of clarity and fiscally suicidal challenge of the federal government in the Yonkers Board of Education desegregation case it lost, pride in tact for some; tattered for others. Thereafter, Yonkers became a poverty pimp in what it believed would be a lucrative invite of poor people willing to take up residence in Yonkers as they abandoned the City of White Plains. It was their solution to the calamity of the desegregation case. Another get rich quick ploy that only sank Yonkers into greater challenges and hardship to which it could not extricate itself.
The ineptitude of those elected to office mesmerized Yonkersites with their faux visions that would in time be recognized as the lack-luster mirage it was. No amount of chicanery or dramatic bluster could expunge the failure that was laid before Yonkers City Hall. All who were part of the executive and legislative parts of “government”, but mostly the former, had a hand in knocking Yonkers to its knees. There are no favorite sons in Yonkers. They have each in their own manner demeaned, and diminished a city whose history was respectable and proud by many measures, yet upon reflection over the historical timeline wanting by today’s sensibilities.
Almost two decades ago, what seemed an enlightened concept of challenging the lethargic, get along to get along debauchery of government, arrived a man of bluster who challenged the travesty of Yonkers plight. He recognized the fault line that undermined the City of Yonkers. Yet he did not possess the learned and cerebral ingredients required to turn Yonkers prospects around. Whether he recognized his capacity or not, he cast blame upon others their not delivering funding for Yonkers. He soon realized that wagging his finger in admonition of failed elected officials was easier than contemplating and deducing a credible manner by which to eclipse Yonkers’ failed trajectory.
The Albany Delegation was chastised as inept. Then again, they did not have a partner that could be trusted to do its part. The Albany Delegation was dismissive of Yonkers City Hall and vice versa. There were no erudite elected office holders that knew how to eclipse the dysfunction of their doing. And that is where Yonkers finds itself today. Blame is cast by all, responsibility is borne by none, or very few. Political dogma is devoid of solution, and Yonkersites take sides by dramatic expressions that consistently vacillate between fact, fantasy, and fiction.
It is a formula that works if but to sustain the “friends and family network” to the exclusion of employing those who meritoriously should have earned employ.
So well have the “staged dramas” succeeded that Yonkers individual and collective, contemplative mind(s) no longer attempt to deduce solution to our collective plight. On-the-job training is deficient in bringing the City of Yonkers beyond its present travail. We must individually and collectively cast aside the mental chains that imprison us. It is understood that those in power who are averse to hearing challenges of their policies will either smite their challengers’ capacity to do so or will eventually cause their employee/appointee to know in advance what is or is not acceptable to those in charge. Those are the very circumstances that have squandered many years of capacity for remedy in CoY.
Dr. Nader Sayegh, Esq. has found the formula that not only conforms to Yonkers situation today, it does not detract from others gaining more financial support.
Dr. Sayegh has dedicated his professional career of nearly 45 years as an “educator” to improving educational opportunities and equitable services for urban schools, addressing the needs of English Language Learners (ELL’s), and students with special needs. He has advocated for the rights of students and parents who attempt to succeed despite numerous socio-demographic, language, economic, political, and immigration related disadvantages. He and others have been held back by those who are nothing more than complacent sychophants who have sat down when demanded to tow the line with an uninformed, wantin*m and failed formula.
Dr. Sayegh has not kowtowed to the powers that be that demanded his silence despite the existing formula that works not only for Yonkers but all of New York State. The Federal Government has devised what seems a more credible construct of defining socio-economic circumstance. Dr. Sayegh has recognized its integrity and has shared its efficacy with this writer before my weeks in hospital.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) best defines socio-economic stress. Those adults, parents and/or guardians with children, when qualified, get a funding allowance based on the size of the family structure that permits students either reduced cost or free breakfast and lunch for those students.
English Language Learners predominately reside within a family structure where English is not the mother tongue. it is also a measure used by the Federal government that is predictive of less earning capacity than a fluent English speaker. It stands to reason that employment in a household where a foreign language is spoken does not pay commensurately among those who speak and write English exclusively, are somewhat conversant in English and a second language, and those who are learning English and the mother-tongue of a second language spoken at home is one to which there are few teachers speaking that language. Spanish is the second largest language spoken in America. There are bilingual teachers and aides to assist a Spanish speaker, but little help for those speaking Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, French, Arabic, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, among others. Perhaps a 6 months immersion into learning English will be more cost effective and substantive to the needs of more ELL students including those who speak Spanish and are yet to be fluent in English.
Demographics have changed by many measures over the past decades, most recently, the new immigrants that have taken residence in communities long thought to have collapsed or abandoned industry and the progeny of those communities have moved in search for opportunity elsewhere. Juxtaposed to past residents, new immigrants are creating a new “opportunity” in their new homes. Language is a hurdle that must be eclipsed by the young and growing student population and their parents. All the more reason for teaching an immersion program of half-a-year to one-year in duration so as to accommodate speakers of disparate foreign linguistic skills.
The above issue brings to light concern that Yonkers has forgotten to engage with their fellow elected legislators at the New York State Legislature. Yonkersites have foolishly spoken for self gain. In so doing, delegates representing Yonkers have failed to build bridges of like interest throughout the state. At issue is whether Yonkers plight is akin to the plight of Mount Vernon, Elmira, Utica, Ossining, Erie, Buffalo, Endicott, Rochester, Plattsburgh, and Syracuse, among so many more. It is time for Yonkers to forge the bridges of trust that only shared needs can foster.
Beyond all these issues and concerns are the costs. If New York State is burdened in meeting the “needs” and “wants” required to presently do so, how will these issues be satisfied? Easily expressed, but a certainty of hardship for many. The hardship is in planning to satiate the known fiscal “needs”. It will mean broaching and speaking about the fiscal requirements to meet the needs of each community so defined, divide the sum of all the “needs” of each community, and apportion the final sum among each community proportionally, that is, equitable distribution of taxpayer funds will go to serve each community on the basis of a formula that serves communities of means and those of less means equitably. Consolidating costs and services will save huge amounts of money, so too, hiring people at a base, entry rate and when over time is required, it will not go toward embellishing pensions that the taxpayer can not sustain while present circumstances will have to be mitigated through a lessening of pension cost outlays. There are many more erudite concepts that must be engaged to move the “needs” closer to being satisfied than I have the experience or intellect to devise, and much less capacity to bring forward. Unfortunately there is little time to dawdle. The “needs” are dire.
From a fiscal perspective it must be noted that students who qualify under SNAP for reduced or free breakfast / lunch programs have been permitted by their parents / guardians to not sign over the funds allocated by SNAP toward payment to the Yonkers Public School District. A travesty permitted by Yonkers City Hall because it was a politically incorrect battle from which Yonkers City Hall preferred to shrink. This $1 million shortfall has been kept hush, hush by Yonkers City Hall. The fraud permitted to take place is that the funds allocated for reduced or free student breakfast/lunch subsidies are not legally permitted to reside within the parents/guardians household income and must be signed over to the Yonkers Public Schools District. Where is the scrutiny and why has remedy yet to be instituted? Students who are SNAP qualified must have their subsidy signed over to the Yonkers Public School District. This should be accomplished during the yearly registration process of every child without exception for any reason. It is either that or the taxpayer can pay this shortfall, or logically, the parents/guardians must be charged with fraud if they do not sign the allowance that is intended to pay for their child’s breakfast/lunch meals.
It’s time for Yonkers City Hall to deal with the crisis they have had in creating. The Albany Delegation must do more that espouse platitudes and promote a doable formula among their legislative colleagues that serves us all.
It is high time Yonkers proves itself worthy of being respected and works toward that end. Anything less is not good enough.
Dr. Sayegh knows the tasks and challenges ahead. He has the eduction skills to have formulated the concepts espoused herein, and he has devised them despite the “failed formulas” he and others were required to tow. He has yet to publicly announce his entrance to serve the public interest by winning the public’s confidence to serve a the next New York State Assemblyman to serve AD90, the seat left empty by NYS Senate-Elect Shelley Mayer’s success in the Special Election held last week.
The contest for NYS Assembly District 90 has many vying to serve though few, if any have the capacity to marry their capacity as an educator and a lawyer so as to distill solutions and enact legislation by Dr. Nader Sayegh, Esq., his additional capacity as a lawyer. He speaks a few languages that bodes well toward understanding ever larger segments of our society. And most of all he is an approachable human being with a kind heart and soul.
As future weeks recede into history’s past, Yonkers Tribune will reach out to all contenders for NYS Assembly candidates and will advise accordingly.