Parents, Educators Credited for Derailing Controversial Tax Credit; Parental Choice in Education Act Defeated
July 1, 2015
by Mike Clifford
NEW YORK – One of the state’s largest teachers’ unions is giving parents and educators credit for defeating some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s more controversial education proposals in the just-ended legislative session.
Karen Magee is president of New York State United Teachers, which represents 600,000 members. She describes the union as relieved that the Parental Choice in Education Act was defeated, so it won’t be draining revenue from public schools.
“We’re grateful that that backdoor voucher scheme – also named the Parental Choice Act – did not come to fruition,” says Magee, “and we’re really looking at meeting the needs of public education, so that all students in the state are served.”
Cuomo maintained the education tax credit would have helped the families of tens of thousands of students who attend non-public schools in the state, but critics charged the measure was more likely a way for the governor to reward the wealthy, including billionaire backers of his campaign.
One of the state’s largest teachers’ unions is giving parents and educators credit for defeating some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s more controversial education proposals in the just-ended legislative session.
Politics aside, Magee adds the state is in no position to be giving up tax revenue for education to people who make the choice to send their children to private school. She likens it to giving tax support to people who decide to join country clubs.
“The Campaign for Fiscal Equity still has $5 billion owed to the public schools in New York State,” Magee points out. “So, I can’t imagine, when you have the kind of debt to the public school system, how you would create any mechanism to give those who would want to fund a private-school education any kind of credit, and use of taxpayer dollars.”
Magee credits hundreds of thousands of emails and faxes from parents and educators during the session as playing a major role in convincing lawmakers to look out for the interests of New York public school students, across the state.
PHOTO: NYSUT President Karen Magee (center) says actions like this one in Albany were responsible for getting state lawmakers to focus on the needs of all public school children during the just-ended session. Photo courtesy of New York State United Teachers.
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