DMI Blog

Maureen Lane

Education Spending For Measurable Results

The Governor presented his budget and included some major funding for public school education. Gov. Spitzer called for 7 billion dollar increase to spending which would be tied to "measurable results in the following areas: decreasing class size; increasing student time on tasks; developing full-day kindergarten; creating teacher-quality initiatives; and school restructuring." And the funding increase comes in a budget with property tax cuts included.

Governor Spitzer recognizes that New York's economy can expand. Property taxes are functioning as regressive taxes a lot of the time and they are not helping low and middle income families or the state's economy. He said he would cut them and he did.

The challenge now is to transcend politics and upstate downstate thinking. So often New Yorkers are pitted against each other.. i.e. urban v. suburban v rural. Really, all of us can benefit from a vibrant economic boom in Rochester or a new silicon valley in the Bronx. The skills and vision of New Yorkers are key.

Adult continuing education and training beyond high school, including through to 2 and 4-year college is the way forward. New York can be a state that supports life-long learning and certainly making education accessible to all would be fundamental to expanding the economy with growth jobs. The Fiscal Policy Institute has some good thinking on these issues.

I am jazzed by the Governor's good will and commitment to education. Spitzer is not inclined to wage the downstate vs. upstate divisive political game that may have played well for some local candidates running for office but in reality doesn't help the residents of upstate or downstate. Community involvement in designing state education policies is essential if we want to expand the economy equitably. It is not just what we do that advances us. It is how we do it that so often determines our success. Let's do state education policy that supports access to education for people of all ages and let's make sure New Yorkers from across the spectrum are being listened to - after all, we're the ones that experience education policy firsthand.

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 7:33 AM, Feb 01, 2007 in Economic Opportunity | Education
Permalink | Email to Friend