Education, and particularly public education, has long been the key to ensuring that all citizens have an equal opportunity to succeed in life. Access to a quality public education is a right guaranteed to each of our children through the State Constitution. The public schools in the 113th Assembly District have been recognized for excellence in education — a testament to the innovation, commitment and hard work of the teachers and administration of our schools. Throughout my first term, I have proudly advocated for our schools to receive their fair share of state funding, including full restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) funds and increases in Foundation Aid. I have advocated for common sense changes to Common Core curriculum and to the assessment approach.
I regularly meet with groups of students and teachers to ensure that I understand what the effects of state policy are on what is happening in the classroom. From the kindergarten classrooms to the halls of the high schools, I have seen and heard that our kids are actively engaged in learning at a level that will prepare them for a bright future. The Early College High School programs available in our region are providing unprecedented opportunities for our young people to build the professional skills that will launch them into a future career. And the colleges and employers are eager to admit/hire them. We still have work to do on improving the testing regimen that is used to assess progress, and we will still need to work on creating multiple pathways to graduation, including Career and Technical Education pathways alongside the Regents diploma pathway. I will continue to advocate for these changes and to work with our representative on the Board of Regents to make them happen.