Senator Robach Votes for Key Education Reforms in NYS Budget

In this year’s 2013-2014 budget supported by Rochester Senator Joe Robach key education reforms were enacted ensuring that New York State continues to lead the nation by creating a world-class education system that works to prepare our New York’s students for the future.

Senator Robach has joined Governor Cuomo in his commitment to transforming our state’s education system into one that focuses on improving student performance and increasing school accountability. Critical to this effort was last year’s success in establishing a statewide teacher evaluation system that is one of the strongest in the nation and which has become even stronger with an agreement this year to ensure that all schools institute permanent systems.

This year’s budget includes an increase of nearly $1 billion in education aid that continues to hold schools accountable for student achievement. Education reforms in the budget include:
• Full day pre-k: Recognizing that quality early education is critical for long-term success and that children who attend full-day pre-k often outperform their peers, the budget provides funding for full-day pre-k targeted toward higher need students.
• Extended School Day and School Year Programs: Our country lags behind in terms of how much time is spent in the classroom. To ensure we have a globally competitive education system, New York’s budget supports high-quality, extended learning time for our students.
• Community Schools: The budget supports an innovative program designed to transform schools in distressed communities into community hubs that integrate social, health and other services, as well as after-school programming to provide much-needed support to students and their families.
• Reward High-Performing Teachers: To improve results and incentivize high-performance, the budget implements a program that will offer $15,000 in annual stipends for four years to the most effective teachers beginning with math and science teachers.
• Increased Standards for Teacher Certifications: To ensure the best and brightest are teaching our children, the State Education Department will increase the standards for teacher certification to require passage of a “bar exam” as well as longer, high-quality student-teaching experiences conducted in school settings.
• Early College High School Programs: To improve college access and success, the budget provides new state funding to expand Early College High School programs.