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Cuomo’s politics drive education spending priorities

Sunday, March 16, 2014
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Cuomo’s politics drive education spending priorities

Schenectady schools are facing a $10 million budget shortfall next year and are scrambling to cut programs. Just like last year, the year before, and the year before that.

Superintendent [Laurence] Spring discovered that under a formula for state aid ordered by the Court of Appeals, our district has only been receiving 54 percent of what we are entitled to, and being shortchanged by Albany to the tune of $62 million per year. Gov. Cuomo’s response, when this was brought to his attention a year ago, was a yawn and a plea of poverty. He has oh-so-graciously increased our state aid by 2.3 percent in his current budget proposal.

But don’t worry, the governor still cares about education. In fact, he’s pledged to rescue New York City’s charter schools now under attack by [Mayor] Bill DiBlasio; he’ll fund an extra year of schooling for every child in the state under a universal pre-K program; and he’ll pay for college for incarcerated felons. Tthis week the Legislature’s Hispanic caucus demanded $25 million in so-called “Dream Act” money to pay illegal aliens’ college, which I predict will be added to the budget.

So Andrew Cuomo apparently has untold millions to finance his personal political war with New York City’s mayor and to score political points with his base, but no money to comply with an order from the state’s highest court to provide our kids with the “sound, basic education” our state onstitution promises.

Shame on him. If any Schenectadians vote for him next time, shame on them.

Larry DeAngelus

Schenectady

Pass law to protect kids from chemicals

Shockingly, it is legal for children’s products such as dolls, baby car seats and clothing to contain toxic chemicals. Why aren’t there laws that ban the use of these chemicals?

There are too many loopholes in the FDA Toxic Substance Control Act passed in 1976. Although it was designed to protect people and the environment from harmful substances, over 62,000 chemicals were grandfathered in and assumed safe. Around 22,000 more chemicals have since been developed for use in products. It is currently not required for any new chemicals to be thoroughly tested for safety.

The state Legislature has the power to pass the Child Safe Products Act this session (S.4614 Boyle/A.6328 Sweeney). If passed, chemicals of high concern that are found in children’s products will be identified. From this list, a smaller list of priority chemicals of high concern will be identified. Manufacturers will need to report if these chemicals are present in children’s products and eventually eliminate the use of these products.

Consumers should not have to be on the lookout for [toxic] chemicals in products. Passing this bill will ensure consumer, employee, community and investor safety and confidence. This is our chance to be a part of chemical reform, protect children, and shift the market to use safer chemicals in products we use every day.

Lisa Battiste

Schenectady

Act of kindness small, but oh so meaningful

I am a student at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Recently some of the students and a sociology teacher, John van Bladel, promoted random acts of kindness week.

The committee came up with “Glove One Another Day.” Then we had to figure out where could we get dozens of gloves to promote this idea.

I started calling glove manufacturers in nearby communities. One call was to Swany Glove Co. in Johnstown. I did not expect to get a call back, but I did from a special person named Donna.

Donna did not hesitate to help our cause. In fact she provided us with more than what I was asking for. I explained to her what we were trying to promote at FMCC — such as civility and acts of kindness — and she was glad to help our cause.

There are still people who promote their own acts of kindness; Donna is one. All of us at FMCC who participated in Glove One Another Day want to say a great big thank you to Donna. Without people like her, civility and kindness would be nonexistent. Remember, the small things we do for others makes all the difference.

Sallie E. Curtis

Amsterdam

Gov’t policies have us pretty well covered

Poor Wallace Hughes [March 9 letter] bemoaned the fact that federal policies are horrible and do not work.

I believe the policy that allows him to drive on federal highways from here to California works pretty well. Our Army, Navy, Air Force etc. work protecting his butt pretty well. EPA protects his water and food pretty well.

Small businesses can finally offer their employees affordable health insurance, with benefits that actually cover services. Plus Medicare works pretty well for our parents.

He must realize that red states led by Republican governors, like Texas for example, have the lowest high school test scores and the highest number of welfare recipients. Oh, yes, those red-state governors all have health insurance, but they are not allowing 5 million of their constituents to see a doctor!

Our health care system was not envied around the world; in fact it ranked 37th out of 190 countries. Chile beats the United States per the World Health Organization! Fortunately, many Americans will no longer be shut out of health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, etc. Medical bills are the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy.

Conservatives/Republicans like Mr. Hughes are oblivious to the eight years of trickle-down that didn’t trickle down, and how long it’s taking to clean up that mess.

Diane Hombach

Schenectady

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comments

March 16, 2014
6:50 a.m.
+0 votes
wmarincic says...

Diane Hombach, there you go making up stories again. You better do a little research. Mississippi does have the lowest test scores but so does California. Texas has been all over the place but when you add in the millions of illegal alien kids that's what you get. I think you should pay an extra 20% of your taxes for these poor kids. After all democrats are so caring and understanding. Oh wait, they are just caring and understanding when it's someone else's money.

March 16, 2014
9:57 a.m.
+0 votes
FrankLowe says...

Ms. Hombach
1. There is no policy that "allows" us to drive on federal highways, these highways were built due to the efforts of hardworking taxpayers and belong to us, not the government.
2. While the rank and file boots on the ground members of our military are no doubt the finest, the pentagon is a bloated corrupt government agency full of connected fat cats who care nothing for our fighting men and women. Their only care is how line their pockets with our money.
3. The EPA is in no way responsible and has no oversight over the food we eat. That would be the USDA. The EPA is nothing but a gravy train for the government, extorting dollars of big businesses that can afford it, and using nazi like tactics against small businesses and individuals to trample private property rights and discourage any kind of entrepeneurial endeavor.
4. If you really think that the unmitigated disaster called Obamacare has helped small business in any way, why don't you just go and open small business and see how that works out for you.
5. Dollar for dollar, blue states are at the bottom of barrel as far as education, with NY being dead last.
6. A little research would show you that every major advance in modern medicine has come from the United States private sector. Can you tell me of any major advances that have come from countries with socialized medicine? While we're at it, how many of these countries with "free" healthcare have little or no military of their own, because we protect them free of charge?
7. Trickle down works very well, if people choose to get out of bed every morning and participate in it.

We are the UNITED STATES of America, not the United state of America. There is not now nor will there ever be an economic model showing that centralized government benefits anyone other than the wanna be dictators who advocate for it. The most recent example of course being the European Union which fell apart before it got off the ground. The indisputable failed economies of the blue states, and the booming economies of the red states are proof alone government intervention is nothing but an anchor.

 

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