This letter campaign was created by the Irvington NY PTSA in support of the efforts of the NY Suburban Consortium for Education. The consortium represents 38 school districts  that are reaching out to state leaders to address the following issues:

1 – Unfunded or Under-Funded State Mandates:  School Districts are required to meet dozens of expensive state mandates that deplete resources and are not exceptions to the Tax Cap.  Additionally state aid that was frozen at the start of the recession has not been fully restored. Initially, federal relief covered the difference but with the recession over, local district continue to make due. This state aid needs to be restored.

2 – Loss of Local Control of our Schools: Allow our high achieving school districts the ability to decide the type of learning that we value as parents, teachers, and administrators.

3 – A Broken Teacher Performance Review System: The newly implemented APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) is costly and doesn’t work. Plain and simple it is needless bureaucratic red tape. Accountability and performances are important but this system doesn’t work and takes time away from teachers and administrators to do their job educating children.

4 – Reform the Tax Cap: As communities we expect high performing schools and responsible management of public funds. The promise with the implementation of the State Tax Cap was that is would impose responsible decision making. Unfortunately the calculation for the Tax Cap Levy currently pits support for programs and teachers against unfunded and under-funded mandates and required health and pension costs. These costs should not be part of the tax cap formulation.

5 – Fix Common Core Implementation: Teachers and districts are being asked to implement dramatic changes education too quickly and without sufficient support. Additionally, State Testing (teaching to the test) and the broken APPR system are undermining potential benefits to implementing a meaningful 21st Century education called for by Common Core Learning Standards. CCLS is meant to include and respect input and collaboration of teachers and local school districts. The state needs to stop hampering education with bureaucratic one size fits all mandates.