The post-budget phone calls, emails, and picketing are, if nothing else, getting attention. State Senator Tom Croci just posted a video in which he acknowledges he made a mistake and apologizes for voting for the Governor’s budget makes a painfully lame attempt at trying to rationalize his vote, stretching the truth well beyond the breaking point.
Here is our response to Senator Croci, as posted on his Facebook page:
Senator, please re-read the bill more carefully. The outside evaluators you claim are were removed from the budget are right there, enshrined in law thanks to your vote. Likewise, while it is not described as “50%” in the budget, test scores are one of two equal factors used for a teacher’s evaluation. If you’d like us to point out exactly where these items can be found, we’d be happy to do so.
We also suggest you watch your own video again. In it you claim that you are directing the Dept of Ed to reduce testing. But what the law actually says, as shown on screen in your video, is that the Chancellor of the Board of Regents “shall submit a report to the Governor, the Temporary President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Assembly outlining recommendations that shall help to: reduce the amount of state and local student testing…” This is a toothless provision that is obviously there solely to give cover and does not say what you claim it does.
Also, you say “at no time did any union rep, teacher, parent, student, or any resident, ever ask me to cast a vote that would shut down our state government…” This is categorically false. I know for a fact that you received multiple phone calls from residents (at least one of whom spoke directly to your staffer) telling you that we felt a late budget would be better than a bad budget. We elected you to represent us and to have the courage to stand up for us. Multiple polls showed that the citizens/taxpayers/voters of New York opposed the Governor’s education agenda and you betrayed your constituents by giving in to him.
Let’s make sure we have a good showing at Senator Flanagan’s this coming Friday. Can’t wait to see if he can manage to come up with as creative a response as Sen Croci.