Assemblyman Joe Borelli (R,C,I-South Shore) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I –East Shore/Brooklyn) today joined colleagues to roll out a Common Core reform package entitled “Achieving Pupil Preparedness & Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan”. The APPLE Plan is a reform measure that would slow down the implementation of Common Core and introduce new, comprehensive education reform for New York State. The plan was created after 11 public education forums were held throughout the state, hearing hours of testimony from parents, teachers, administrators and children on the appropriate ways to educate our students.
“The implementation of Common Core represents the major failures in our education department,” said Borelli. “We in the minority conference did our due diligence to give the people of New York a voice and address their concerns about education and how it should be reformed. The Apple Plan is the first step toward fixing the problems of Common Core and giving our children the education they deserve.”
Borelli’s colleague, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn-Staten Island) is also critical of the implementation of Common Core and believes that the APPLE Plan is a step in the right direction.
“Today’s release of the ‘At the Educational Crossroads’ report is the culmination of several months of hard work by our Republican Assembly Conference to address the multiple problems experienced from the swift implementation of the Common Core curriculum,” said Malliotakis. “With so many students, parents and educators affected by this program, it is absolutely critical that we take action to adjust the system to better meet the needs of our children. With concerns about Common Core being raised across New York, we truly are at a crossroads in terms of education. It is critical that the reforms we have proposed be swiftly enacted because our students only get once chance to receive a quality education.”
The APPLE plan solution addresses critical issues in the areas of Curriculum, Teacher Support, Funding, Student Anxiety, Special Education and Data Collection and concludes with two reform options recommended by members of the Assembly Minority Conference. Proposed solutions within the APPLE Plan include:
* Stopping the rushed implementation of the Common Core State Standards;
* Providing funding for professional development;
* Eliminating the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA);
* Reducing the over-reliance on student testing;
* Reasserting that an IEP is the supreme document for the education of a child with special needs; and
* Requiring that parents must consent to any disclosure of student information to a third party.
“We need to put the brakes on Common Core implementation. You only get one chance to educate a child,” said Borelli. “Thanks to Ed Ra and the rest of the minority conference, we finally have a good plan in place for the proper education of our children.”
The APPLE Plan is available for review online at bit.ly/educationalcrossroads. Borelli and Malliotakis are encouraging those interested to take a look at the plan and contact their respective offices with any concerns they may have.
Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011
Judith Randall, Staten Island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Saying Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget cuts could result in the “painful closure” of as many as five friendship clubs here, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis yesterday called on him to amend his current plan so the centers can remain open.
“You built this community, you pay taxes, you earned this program,” Ms. Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn) told seniors at the Arrochar Friendship Club yesterday.
She said Cuomo is looking to cut $37 million from the state Office of Children and Family Services, of which $25 million is used by the city to fund state-mandated programs for children. The result, she said, would force the city to shift Title XX funds it currently uses to support senior centers to pay instead for the mandated child welfare programs.
She said the move would “pit children against seniors”– and could result in one-third of the city’s 110 senior centers closing, including five of the 15 remaining centers here.
Ms. Malliotakis, a member of the Assembly Committee on Aging, said senior citizens need community-based centers they can easily reach, where meals are provided and friendship is offered. She called the centers “a necessity.”
A fiscal conservative, Ms. Malliotakis said broad cuts should instead be made in the state’s bloated Medicaid reimbursement system and by merging a dozen overlapping state agencies, rather than on the backs of seniors.
“The governor has 21 days to make amendments to his budget,” she added.
“I am coming here 23 years,” Mary Cammarata, 92, told Ms. Malliotakis. “If they take it away I will have no place to go.”
Representatives of the Staten Island Inter-Agency Council for Aging, Community Agency for Senior Citizens and the borough’s Friendship Clubs were on hand to back up Ms. Malliotakis.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C – Brooklyn, Staten Island) has joined Senators Andrew Lanza, Marty Golden, Diane Savino and Assemblymembers Michael Cusick, Matthew Titone and Lou Tobacco in sponsoring property tax relief legislation that would establish limitations upon real property tax levies in New York City. The bill places a cap on the growth of property taxes at two percent (or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less).
“While the property tax cap that recently passed the Senate was sorely needed to protect property tax payers in upstate communities, the legislation failed to address the skyrocketing taxes we see here in New York City,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. “Property tax rates have increased roughly 40 percent in New York over the last eight years alone. We cannot turn a blind eye to the realities taxpayers face in Brooklyn, Staten Island and throughout the other boroughs. I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation so that we can attract families and businesses to our communities rather than push them across state lines.”
“With this bill I am keeping with my commitment to provide real property tax relief to homeowners across Staten Island who are sick and tired of paying the highest taxes in the nation,” Senator Andrew Lanza said. “Staten Islanders are tapped out. This legislation will put an end to out-of-control tax increases that are being forced upon us.” Senator Marty Golden stated, “I can tell you that the rising costs of property taxes is on the mind of all homeowners and future homeowners of my district and throughout the City of New York. We must act now and pass this legislation before we see more ‘For Sale’ signs on front lawns caused in part by the increasing expense that is property tax. This bill will make property taxes more affordable for New York City homeowners and I urge my colleagues to recognize the need to implement a property tax cap in the Big Apple.”
“Property tax relief is an essential aspect of easing the fiscal burdens of working families,” said Assemblyman Michael Cusick. “This legislation is being introduced with the aim of eliminating double-digit property tax increases on Staten Island homeowners. Senior citizens on fixed incomes would not, as a result of this bill, be forced to anguish about arbitrary increases in property taxes. Enacting a 2% tax cap also would serve as a strong incentive for an efficient, economically sound state government.”
Senator Diane Savino said, “Property tax relief is an issue that affects all New Yorkers. The Senate took the first step this week in tackling this problem in the suburbs. But New York City residents need protection, too. Our home values are dropping, our assessments are rising. Something needs to break.”
“When you factor in tolls and the failure of the City to provided equitable health care to Staten Island we are probably the most financially burdened borough in the City,” said Assemblyman Matthew Titone. “Capping our property taxes is only fair.”
“Staten Island families and seniors are being crushed by ever-increasing property taxes, and are increasingly being forced to choose between buying basic essentials or paying their property taxes,” said Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R,C,I-Staten Island). “This legislation will lower property taxes for New York City residents and will ensure that Staten Islanders receive the tax relief they deserve.”
Given the state of our economy and the heavy burden carried by taxpayers, Lanza contends we need to take an aggressive approach to stop the City from raising taxes on Staten Island families at every turn. “The reality is that residents and businesses are leaving the state in droves because they cannot continue to pay skyrocketing property and job-killing business taxes,” said Lanza. “This bill will help families and seniors living on fixed incomes make ends meet and stay in their homes. By limiting future increases, taxpayers would have a much better sense of what they need to budget. This also would help to rein in out-of-control government spending.”
The bill will be circulated to the entire New York City delegation for co-sponsorship.