SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: New York State Senator Tony Avella Sells Out

Friday, March 28, 2014

New York State Senator Tony Avella Sells Out

Almost two years ago in 2012 I wrote a piece foreseeing that once the deform movement and its testing and other inanities hits the suburbs, Westchester County in this case, then all hell will break lose across the state.And so it has.

In that same piece I mentioned a (at the time) relative unknown advocate Janine Sopp and her organization, Change the Stakes. Since that time, Change the Stakes has grown in size along with its Facebook page and Twitter. 

Janine has become a loud and strong voice advocating the end of high stakes testing throughout New York and works tirelessly for what she, and a vastly increasing number of parents and communities, believes in. Without her leadership, we in New York would be facing an uphill fight. With her, our fight is so much easier and stronger.

I have had the pleasure of speaking to Janine on several occasions, but yet to have had the honor and privilege to meet her. I hope to one day, but I can say this. She is the real deal. Janine so easily can just be concerned for her own daughter's education but she shows what she is made of by taking this fight on for so many families and communities. Janine's intentions are pure and has sacrificed so much of herself for the greater good.

The complete opposite of Janine is New York State Senator Tony Avella. You remember Tony right? Tony was there helping us against deform movement even lending his name to the mess of what became PS 29 in College Point last year. However it seems that Senator Avella can't pass up an opportunity to take advantage of an opportunity, or rather pass up a chance to embellish himself and his cronies.

Senator Avella joined the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference that has caucused with the Senate Republicans to control the State Senate. The IDC has had on its roster some of the more notorious and crooked politicians in ranks. Senators such as Senator Klein who is beholden to DFER and Eva Moskowitz, Senators, and current convicts, Krueger and Espada who were the forefathers to IDC.

So we know where, and with whom, Avella butters his bread. But I think someone can explain this better than I can. For this I want to share what I saw on Change the Stakes Facebook page today.

We are in danger of New York State turning over the keys to our public school buildings to charter school corporations, like the one run by Eva Moskowitz. Senator Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, used to be against turning more public school buildings over to charter schools through unlimited co-locations. But, he has changed his tune. He left the Democrats in the Senate and joined with the Independent Democrats who are part of a Republican-led coalition. He got more power in a committee chairmanship. But, now he is in danger of selling us out on the same co-locations he used to be against.

Senator Avella’s majority coalition is pushing a plan that forces more co-locations onto our public schools and forces New York City to take money out of public school classrooms to pay for private space for charter schools that are not co-located. This is a disaster, but it would not be on the table if Senator Avella had not voted for it when the Republican led coalition included this plan in their budget bill. Now, Avella has to step up and stop it from happening.

Email Senator Avella right now, no matter what part of New York City you live in. Let him know that selling out our public schools is unacceptable.

Negotiations are intense, and the State Assembly leadership is fighting hard, but they need our help. It is difficult when the charter school lobbyists have spent more than $5 million on a TV and radio advertising campaign. These same lobbyist are funneling campaign money into the Senate leadership coalition that Senator Avella has joined. 

Let Senator Avella know that you are paying attention and that he needs to act now to stop this terrible plan.

In solidarity,

Zakiyah Ansari
Advocacy Director of the Alliance for Quality Education

Well said!  Don't forget to email Senator Avella and let him know we are on to him.

And don't forget to thank Janine every chance you get for all her hard work.

1 comment:

Ms. Tsouris said...

I live in Avella's district and called his local office after getting a robo call from some anti charter organization talking about his pro charter stance in budget negotiations. I asked the young guy who answered the phone to clarify Avella's position on charter schools. The answer, curiously, was that he's "against" charters. I then asked why I've been reading that he's not opposing charters. The answer was, y'know, it's a compromise in the budget. Then I (nicely) unleashed a lecture about why charters are not public schools and how evil Little Eva Moskowitz is, and oh by the way Francis Lewis High School still has old moldy trailers in the back that are approaching 40 years old and still has 4,000 kids, and so on. I was told this would be "passed on" to Mr. Avella. I'm sure it's in the round file. It's almost like watching a science fiction movie like "Faculty" where teachers are taken over, along with most of the people in town, by an alien species. If they got to Avella, I'm jumping ship from the so-called Democratic Party. The sellout in NY State is breath-taking to watch.