Archive for September, 2008

Letter to Catholic School Parents

On April 9, 2008, Governor Paterson and the State Legislature CUT funding by 2% to Catholic Schools. These funds are used to pay for State mandates in education. These mandates include the 4th and 8th grade NY State exams, as well as other academic criteria in education. By cutting funding for these mandated costs, New York State has broken its legal commitment to reimburse religious and private schools for 100% of State mandated expenses. This is outrageous!

What is even more upsetting to parents like ourselves is that NY State has increased funding to public schools to $1.8 Billion–a 9% increase from last year. It is obvious that the current legislature is not committed to providing an equal amount of quality education to our children. Remember that the $1.8 billion dollars is taxpayer money, and our taxes are paying for an education that our children will never receive. There are over 500,000 children in religious and private schools across the State, and yet time and time again we are refused even the smallest tax relief for our families.

Recently, I attended a local Community Board meeting where this issue was brought up to two local Assemblymen; they clearly stated that in no uncertain terms was the State of New York ever to assist any family that sends their children to private or religious schools. When I questioned the reason why, their response was “because it is a NY State Constitutional Amendment.”  I then stated that this Amendment easily can be changed or modified to offer relief to parents like ourselves. After all, Assembly members are the closest representing body of government to the people, who should always keep the best interests of their constituents in mind.

Obviously this is not the case at present.

We all know and are well aware of the academic success and achievements our children receive at St. Ephrem School. This is due to the fact that we have an excellent teaching staff and superb administrators. “To be a Catholic school teacher is a Calling in addition to a rewarding career”, stated Mrs. Bartone, our principal.
Our teachers serve will lower salaries and reduced benefits than their public school counterparts. Their tenure is certainly subjected to student performance.

Catholic schools are accountable to the families who are in essence their customers. We as parents trust St. Ephrem School with our children’s academic and spiritual education. Our lawmakers have entrusted public school education to a large special interest group known as the public school teachers union. We should realize that this teachers union does not and should not represent the children or their parents in New York State. “Teachers unions are trade associations whose basic interests begin and end with the financial security of their own membership” states Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference.

I strongly urge all of you to pay attention to the local political races and to support those candidates that are friendly to our cause and support Tuition Tax Credits and other educational assistance to private and religious schools.

I will keep you posted on this and other issues of interest to all of us in the near future.

Thank you,

Lucretia

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First “Coffee-Clutch” Town Hall Meeting A Great Success!

The evening of Thursday September 11, residents of the 48th ED in the 49th Assembly District were invited to a town hall meeting where they could meet and discuss issues with our Republican, Conservative, Independence and Right-to-Life candidate for the Assembly, Lucretia Regina-Potter. It was the first such meeting conducted in our district in over 20 years! “I felt it was about time somebody showed their concern for the peoples’ concerns by sitting down with and listening to what the working people of our community had to say”, said Lucretia. “But after hearing what concerned them most about our community, I was very glad to be able to share my solutions and plans for future success with them.” Once again Lucretia proved that she always puts the people first and demonstrated that she will continue to do so once she’s our Assemblywoman! The time for change in this district has surely come which is why we can with confidence say, Finally, a fighter for the 49th!”    

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