2002-05-18 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

Legislators and Educators Focus on Education
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Legislators and Educators Focus on Education

The current fiscal crisis in New York has highlighted the need for a skilled and educated work force.  It is urgent that we work smart and hard to attract and retain businesses in New York City and New York State.

Members of the New York State legislature and educators including Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, Assemblywoman Michele Titus, Assemblyman Brian McLoughlin, Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayerson, Regent Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Assemblyman Michael Cohen, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Assemblywoman Marge Makkey and Senator and Mrs. George Onorato met in Albany to zero in on the educational needs of our state. They recognize the need for high academic standards and improved student performance. 

A wide range of issues were discussed including increasing and improving our pre K programs through graduate school, enhancing our library system to help all New Yorkers have access to up to date and cutting edge information, maintaining the high professional standards for the thirty eight professions licensed by the New York State Board of Regents and fighting to raise the educational proficiency of all our students. Each legislator and educator at the meeting recognizes the need to gather the appropriate resources in order to achieve our educational goals.

The importance of education was also the focus of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Convention in Manhattan last week. I attended the convention and supported the "Unity Rally" which showed statewide solidarity for the United Federation of Teachers and other locals throughout the state who are without contracts. Many state leaders addressed the NYSUT Convention. Governor George Pataki gave his first address at our statewide convention. It was an opportunity to talk directly to our teacher representatives from across the state. Governor Pataki told the delegates that he wanted to give his side of the educational story. He pledged his strong support for the UFT in its efforts to settle a new contract. He actually stated that he would include $400 million in state money, which would be used in a contract settlement.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a staunch long time friend of teachers came to support the educational professionals. Senator Joseph Bruno, the Senate Majority Leader told the delegates that he knew that he was speaking to "the most important people in the world".

Senator Charles Schumer lauded teachers for the commendable job that they perform day in and day out in preparing our students to have the necessary skills to succeed in higher education and in the job market. Schumer repeated his promise to work continuously in Washington for programs that will attract and retain qualified teachers.

Attorney General Elliot Spitzer added his voice in support of teachers. He clearly stated, "our children are our future." He praised teachers and educational professions "for making it possible for our children to succeed."

Legislators, educators and state wide elected officials are working together to improve our educational system in New York.

Pictured are, left to right, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, Assemblywoman Michele Titus, Assemblyman Brian McLoughlin, Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayerson, Regent Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Assemblyman Michael Cohen, Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Assemblywoman Marge Makkey and Senator and Mrs. George Onorato.


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