Saturday, February 23, 2013

What You Should Know

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

I Am Glad I Voted Against It 

You should know that a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice blocked Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to harm New York City’s public schools poor students by cutting $260 Million in education aid.

The Governor’s decision came after the City of New York and the teacher’s union failed to meet a deadline on a deal for a new teacher evaluation system, prompting the Governor to take his vengeance upon the innocent students of those poor, in need and in really bad shape public schools in New York City.

According to the New York Post, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez issued the ruling stopping Governor Cuomo from denying New York City the $260 million in school aid by stating “Innocent students that have no influence over the legislative process or negotiations were potentially placed at risk academically.”  The judge also stated that “there are alternative means of achieving the goal while preserving federal grant funds without the long term affect of financial sanctions on the students.”

You should know that after this ruling, by a Hispanic Supreme Court Judge,  and the setback that it means to Governor Cuomo’s administration, I wonder if this is why Governor Cuomo wants his friends to be appointed to the court system, even if they are not qualified.

Immediately after the ruling, a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo stated that the Governor intends to appeal the ruling of Justice Mendez. Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, speaking on behalf of the City of New York, according to the Post, stated that: “We have said all along that students should not be penalized for the UFT’s failure to negotiate and our goal has been and continues to be a fair and effective evaluation system.”

You should know that this is a great victory for the New York City Department of Education and the children that it serves.  Mr. Michael Rebell who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the city parents stated that “There’s no point to this penalty anymore. I hope the fact the Governor knows it is going to be solved….would get him and the legislature to reconsider and not impose this penalty.”

Finally, you should know that since the beginning, Governor Cuomo wanted to punish the children of the City of New York and the school system by imposing this penalty. He found a way to include this damage and ill-conceived idea by including it in the budget and forcing legislators to vote for it. I saw it coming, I spoke to my colleagues and asked them not to vote for it, I spoke against it on the Senate floor, nobody listened because it was the Governor’s idea and the Governor was pressuring them.

Praise the Lord because there is justice and someone like Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez, who saw the damage that this cut of funds would have done to the poor and needy children of our communities.  Now, I can rejoice and say I am glad that I voted against it.

I am Senator Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

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