May 17, 2018

Statement On Charter School Expansion Hearing And Yonkers Public Schools Budget Cuts

Last night it was a pleasure to stand with hundreds of Yonkers Public Schools students, staff and parents as many voiced their opposition to the proposed Charter School of Educational Excellence as well as potential layoffs in the 2018-2019 budget.

Our students spoke brilliantly with passion and respect as they shared their fears over further budget cuts that would negatively affect their lives.

Unfortunately, later on in the evening, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the 2018-2019 budget that currently will abolish 251 jobs. Our children continue to lose valuable resources.

Excused from both meetings to attend the Yonkers Democratic Convention was trustee and New York State Assembly candidate Nader Sayegh. It was disappointing that Mr. Sayegh was absent during such crucial meetings and unable to listen to so many of his constituents’ concerns. Mr. Sayegh has stated that he has the support of teachers and the YFT, but was absence during their time of need.

In the fall, the Board of Trustees issued a letter to the Board of Regents opposing the expansion of the same charter school. All trustees chose to sign this letter with the exception of Mr. Sayegh.

I hope to learn Mr. Sayegh’s opinions on both the expansion of the Charter School of Educational Excellence and the 251 layoffs in the near future.

The New York State Board of Regents must not consider any charter school expansion with the current state of funding of Yonkers Public Schools.