Seth showing his true colors
Posted in the Tupper Lake Forum
#1 Jan 5, 2012
January 5, 2012
School chief criticizes governor
KIM SMITH DEDAM
LAKE PLACID — A pledge by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to become a lobbyist for students in New York state didn't sit well with at least one local school superintendent.
Seth McGowan, who heads Tupper Lake Central School District, was insulted by that part of the State of the State address on Wednesday.
"What gives him the credentials to be a lobbyist for the kids?" McGowan told the Press-Republican. "Does he have any experience or knowledge of public education in New York state? He has no knowledge for understanding how schools work.
"I consider myself an advocate for the students and the community — that includes the teachers, that includes the bus drivers, that includes the staff and the parents.
"If he's talking about taking State Ed (State Department of Education) on head-first, I think that one of the biggest issues is of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.
"State Ed and the legislature and the governor's office are each orbiting their own little planets. They need to increase communication and the coordination with what's going on at the Capitol and at State Ed. He's proposing cuts left and right, and at the same time, State Ed is imposing additional requirements.
"This is a human-based industry," McGowan continued. "They are dreaming the human resource out of us, so we don't have the time for instruction and learning.
"There are so many mandates; at the same time, the governor is cutting us off at the knees. It's this vicious circle — around and around.
"If the governor wants to really address the problem, he would enact legislation that caps the cost of health care and retirement. I'm not talking about a percentage — I'm talking about a cap.
"We have to be able to say 'the district will only ever have to pay this amount of dollars.' And this has to be legislation.
"If they're not willing to take the hit, what power do they think we have locally? They have to make it happen.
"Then the state-aid formula would not be such an issue on an annual basis. When you work it out mathematically, that is the one piece that would solve the most problems the fastest.
"We here are the heartland of the Adirondacks, and we are getting bashed by state economics."
Email Kim Smith Dedam at: [email protected]
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