WORKERS RIGHT TO ORGANIZE
Do you support workers right to organize? Yes
Would you support and help workers organizing in their workplace? Yes
Have you supported workers in the past? Yes
Would you help secure neutrality? Yes
Would you support and help secure Labor Peace Agreements? Yes
Would you support Project Labor Agreements (PLSs) for all State, County, and Municipal building/construction projects? Yes
Would you support a minimum wage increase to $15.00? Yes
Would you support a Living Wage Ordinance for Onondaga County? Yes
Do you support Prevailing Wage? Yes
Do you support fair and adequate funding for all school districts? Yes
Do you support strengthening public education? Yes
Would you support bills that provide more funding for public education? Yes
Do you support full day pre-kindergarten and full day kindergarten? Yes
Counties pay a percentage of Medicaid costs that have been capped by the State of NY. Counties also have the responsibility for Medicaid administration, enrolling people and administering certain benefits like personal care. Knowing that a majority of dollars that is spent by the County on healthcare gets reimbursed through State and Federal funding, would you support enrolling more people in Medicaid? Yes
Do you support expanding subsidies to families for child care? Yes
Do you support preserving the Triborough amendment? Yes
Do you support the expansion of Verizon Fios in Onondaga County? Yes
Do you support the Family and Medical Paid Leave Act to protect families during care for their new child or sick family member? Yes
Do you support Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority)? No
Do you support the Governor's tax freeze, which forces local governments and school districts to provide service without adequate monies? No
Fight Back Against the State Takeover and Privatization of Syracuse Public Schools
The labor movement needs to fight back against the anti-teacher, anti-labor, pro-privatization public school “receivership” program adopted in April as part of the 2015-16 NYS state budget.
Syracuse is hit harder proportionately than any other school district in the state by this program. 18 of 34 Syracuse public schools have been defined by the NYS Education Department as "struggling schools" that will be taken over by the state in one or two years and given to "independent receivers," in most cases charter schools.
As City Auditor, I would conduct early in my term a special audit of the economic and social consequences of the receivership program for the economy and educational opportunities in Syracuse.
The anti-teacher, anti-labor provisions of the "receivership" program enable the receiver to tear up the teacher's contract, fire all the teachers, and require every teacher to re-apply for an appointment.
Every single one of the 144 schools in NYSED's receivership pipeline are high-poverty schools.
50 years of social science has repeatedly documented that schools with high poverty concentrated by race and class segregation are the schools that struggle. Real education reform requires redressing the poverty, segregation, and underfunding of these struggle schools.
The $75 million in additional funding in the “receivership” program for these 144 schools amounts to less than $500,000 per school. This token support shows that the program is really a setup to justify the privatization of public schools, not a realistic school improvement policy.
NYSED's Common Core roll out was a disaster. NYSED taking over local public schools will fare no better. To see where state control ends, see the mass privatization of public schools without improving education in Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.
The receivership program is an attack on democratically-controlled public schools, on teachers and their unions, and on students and their communities. It is a gift to the hedge fund billionaires who are investing in charter schools and the political campaigns of state politicians that support this privatization agenda.
It is time to fight back before Syracuse loses control in the next two years of more than half of its public schools to private, unaccountable, non-union charter schools.