Governor Cuomo's State of the State

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo gave his annual State of the State address. In it, he included an array of education initiatives. We've included an excerpt from his press release below the statement we issued in response.

Statement of Lynette Guastaferro, Executive Director
Teaching Matters, Inc.

New York, NY - January 8, 2014

We applaud the education priorities outlined by Governor Cuomo in his State of the State address. We are particularly heartened by the Teacher Excellence Fund, which would offer up to $20,000 additional money per year to eligible highly effective teachers. Teachers are the single most important school-related factor in the quality of a student's education, and this reward is a positive step toward retaining the best educators. We are also in full support of the Governor's early education initiatives.

Transforming New York's Schools

Meeting the education needs of New York's students gives them a path to prosperity and the tools to become productive members of society, while also providing a more secure economic future for the state. The Governor proposed a series of actions that build on the progress and investments from the last three years to ensure all of New York's students receive a quality education.

Launch the Smart Schools Bond Referendum: The Governor proposed a $2 billion "Smart Schools" bond referendum to help bring all of New York schools to today's high-speed, high-tech world. If approved by voters, the initiative will provide students with state-of-the-art classrooms and leverage technology to transform education. "Smart Schools" funds will be allocated to each school district.

Encourage the Best and Brightest STEM Students to Stay in New York: The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – "STEM" – fields are one of the fastest-growing sectors of New York's economy. To encourage the best and brightest students to pursue STEM college degrees and build their careers in New York, Governor Cuomo proposed providing full tuition scholarships to any SUNY or CUNY college or university to the top 10 percent of high school graduates if they pursue a STEM career and then work in New York for five years.

Reward the Most Effective Teachers: Building on the universal implementation of the teacher evaluation system, the Governor proposed creating a Teacher Excellence Fund to help school districts reward the most effective teachers. Highly effective teachers in participating school districts will be eligible for up to $20,000 in annual supplemental compensation through the Teacher Excellence Fund.

Expand and Launch Another Round of NYSUNY 2020 and NYCUNY 2020: The Governor proposed another round of NYSUNY 2020 and NYCUNY 2020 that have made the State’s public universities incubators of academic excellence and economic growth. This year's program will expand New York's strategic investment in higher education performance by awarding plans that use technology to improve academic success and economic development, leverage opportunities for public-private partnerships through START-UP NY, and provide experiential learning opportunities such as internships to better connect students to the workforce.

Make Full-Day Pre-K Universal in New York State: Expanding on last year's program to provide full-day pre-kindergarten to children in the highest-need communities, Governor Cuomo believes that it is time to fulfill the State's goal of truly "Universal Pre-Kindergarten" access for all children.