Everyone agrees that having a first class education system in New York is the key to our future. And we all agree that our next generation will need highly specialized skills for the jobs of tomorrow.
To make this happen, we must form a creative, energized and dedicated partnership between students, parents, teachers, business and government to make sure we are all working together to teach those skills. This will be one more reason for companies of tomorrow to choose the Hudson Valley today.
− Students must be inspired to tap into their creativity and not just be taught to pass standardized tests
− Parents need to be encouraged to take a more responsible role in the education of their kids
− Teachers need to be rewarded for good ideas and have more opportunities for advancement and growth
− Business should spend more time getting involved in our education system and less time trying to find ways around it by looking for tax loopholes
− Government is the glue that can hold this partnership together.
Every school system should have a research and development laboratory that is sponsored by local businesses and government, like the Rhinebeck Science Foundation, which fosters development and creative ideas. New York State should support these labs that give K-12 students the opportunity to take part in creative innovation programs that stimulate interest in science, engineering and innovative thinking.
While we're at it, let's stop funding our education system through property taxes and base it on the ability to pay. Our present system is forcing middle class families to leave the state for places where a good education is not so expensive. We know good schools are good for our kids, good for the economy and good for our neighborhoods. We just need to be smarter about how we pay for them.
Our current senator was Chairman of the Senate Education Committee for many years, and as such, was in the unique position to positively effect legislation by looking into alternative ways to fund our education system. He didn't. He refused. He did not hold one single hearing on the topic in all his years as chairman. And that's a shame. We need new leadership in Albany that will make this a top priority, and not just another lofty title for one's resume.