"OUR KIDS DESERVE UNIVERSAL, FULL TIME PRE-K!" URGES ALBERT BALDEO.

WE DEMAND BETTER EDUCATION FOR OUR KIDS!

"We demand that Albany provide adequate funding now for: smaller class sizes in all grades, a quality teacher in each classroom,  fully equipped science labs in every middle and high school, modern books and materials,  quality early childhood and after-school program, academic enrichment & remediation programs." State Senate candidate Albert Baldeo (R), and other parents, protest the poor state of education in the community.

 

Albert Baldeo participates in rallies and protests for better public schools sponsored by CFE, UFT, ACORN, AQE, ANYCEC, BEC, CPAC, CCB, NAACP, and other progressive organizations. "Our kids are our future!"

THE STATE SHOULD MAKE UNIVERSAL FULL-DAY PRE-K A REALITY IN NY

TESTIMONY OF ALBERT BALDEO, STATE SENATE CANDIDATE FOR DISTRICT 15 BEFORE COMMUNITY BOARD 9
 
August 15, 2006

Honorable Borough President, Community Board President and members, ladies and gentlemen, fellow parents:  

My name is Albert Baldeo. I am an attorney and community advocate. Like most of you, I believe in making government and the taxes we pay, work for us. I am the Democratic candidate contesting the State Senate seat currently held by Senator Serf Maltese for over 18 years, which encompasses Forest Hills Gardens, Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, Old Howard Beach, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, and parts of Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, South Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Sunnyside and Woodside. Most importantly, I am the parent of a 2 year old. The proposed pre-K site is located in my district, and I am here to lend my vigorous support and unreserved joy for this initiative, on behalf of all those parents, kids and right thinking residents in our district. It is my fervent hope that each community will each have a school, and more if demographic numbers so dictate.

All studies show that kids need to be in pre-K for a full day to really be ready for elementary school. Education starts from the pre-K environment. Investing in a full-day universal pre-K for all 4 year olds would prepare our children for the world of school, identify any developmental issues they may have, and give parents a reliable, safe place for their children to go to each day. To their enormous credit, Borough President Helen Marshall, Speaker Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg support this idea as a fundamental requirement for our kids' development. After all, our kids are our future, and if they are not provided with the best education possible, then we will lag behind other countries that implement a sound education for their kids. 

In New York City, there are some 33,000 kids currently in half-day programs, who can be moved into full-time classes over the next four years. There are currently about 7,000 kids in full-time pre-K. Making it universal would cost about $300 million over the next three years. This is the state's responsibility, and this noble initiative can and should be funded with the billions of education dollars the city is trying to collect from the state.

The Legislature was mandated by the courts in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) decision to increase capital funds, so have they been mandated to greatly increase operating funds between $4.7 and $5.6 billion annually. This is money desperately needed to hire teachers to fill the new buildings, thereby lowering class size. It's money for textbooks and computers and supplies. It's funding for full-day Kindergarten and yes, for, universal pre-K. Essentially, it's money to make a school a place of great learning.

The State Legislature's failure to settle CFE and adequately fund public schools after multiple court decisions ordering them to do so should not be taken lightly by voters and taxpayers alike. Unfortunately, our present representative, Senator Serf Maltese has been classified as the "chief culprit" in this "unpardonable crime," the sins of which have been well documented on many education websites. For example, visit  http://www.edvoters.org/index.php, the website of the League of Education Voters of America, the national voice that will make creating a world class public education system for all Americans a priority for public officials. The League brings together a broad and diverse coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates, and community and business leaders to promote sound public education policies, and to support pro-public education candidates. Or go to http://www.cfequity.org/, and see how the dysfunctional State senate has callously rebuffed, denied and failed our children over the years.

We will never heal the pain of an entire generation of kids deprived of educational advancement due to Senator Maltese's malfeasance, but we can certainly stop this injustice from continuing.

We demand that our elected leaders cease short changing our kids, and allow more pre-K facilities to be speedily implemented.  

APPENDIX

Source: http://www.edvoters.org/most_wanted.html

Political Action for Good Schools

The League of Education Voters of America is the national voice that will make creating a world class public education system for all Americans a priority for public officials. The League brings together a broad and diverse coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates, and community and business leaders to promote sound public education policies, and to support pro-public education candidates.

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