By Gina Martinez
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) will now be the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Education Committee.
Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee since being elected in 2008, was chosen by Senate Minority Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to serve as the conference’s point person on education funding and policy issues for the legislative session.
The Education Committee will be deeply involved in reviewing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018-19 executive budget, which is scheduled for presentation to the Legislature on Jan. 16. Addabbo said his priority would be funding New York City public schools adequately and ensuring support for children attending religious, charter and other types of schools, while providing special-needs students with every opportunity for academic success.
“As the father of two children attending New York City public schools, I have both a personal and public policy perspective in making sure that our students receive the best possible education,” Addabbo said. “Achieving this goal involves many moving parts, including adequate funding for schools, thoughtful education policy, support for teachers and school administrators, and ongoing communications with parents and other stakeholders.”
In addition to serving as the ranking member on the Education Committee, Addabbo will continue as ranking member of both the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs, and the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering.
Besides critical educational challenges facing the state during its coming budget negotiations, Addabbo said another major issue the Senate Education Committee might monitor is the ongoing enactment of the Next Generation Learning Standards, which make up revisions to the Common Core requirements that have been hotly debated in recent years.
“In the past, I held town hall meetings and have spoken in the district on Common Core to talk directly to my constituents and education professionals about the over-reliance on standardized testing, issues surrounding teacher and principal evaluations, and other concerns,” Addabbo said. “Some of these issues are being addressed in the new standards, and I will be paying close attention to how the changes impact our school children and educators.”
Addabbo called this “an excellent opportunity to have even more involvement in ensuring a quality education for all of our schoolchildren.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart