March 29, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Olean, NY - New York State United Teachers members picketed several state senators’ offices Mar. 24, urging them not to “DeVos-state” public schools by ending limits on charter schools.
The Senate Republicans’ proposed state budget, released earlier this month, contains what NYSUT calls a “nearly $350 million gift” to the charter industry, as it would end state limits on the number of charter schools and how much tuition they can charge, as well as giving them state aid for construction. State Sen. Catharine Young (R-Olean) told the Olean Times Herald that the proposal wouldn’t affect public schools in her district because there aren’t any charter schools there. The proposal would “open the floodgates” for charters to open in the area while “public schools are scrapping to get by,” said Andrew Bogey, president of the Bolivar-Richburg Faculty Association, outside Young’s office in Olean. “Public schools of course are under attack from the federal level, but we want to avoid being under attack at the state level,” Olean school-board member Paul Hessney said, citing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s advocacy of for-profit charter schools and vouchers that use public education funds to pay tuition at religious schools. Read more