Senator Stewart-Cousins is a champion for children’s education in our state. As a former teacher, she recognizes the importance of her role as a legislator to effect real and positive changes in funding our schools and raising educational standards. In fact, her desire to improve our education system is one of the reasons why she ran for the State Senate in the first place.
Since she first came to the State Senate in 2007, Senator Stewart-Cousins has achieved record increases in education aid for school districts in her district. She understands how critical it is for the State to provide the necessary resources for our children to receive a quality education.
This year alone, Senator Stewart-Cousins fought and voted for a $1 billion increase in State education aid. School districts in the 35th Senate District saw a $27.6 million dollar increase in total, for an overall 8.7% increase in total education aid in this year’s budget. Moreover, the Senator voted for a groundbreaking five-year plan to implement universal pre-kindergarten throughout the State. Finally, the Senator recognizes the constraints placed on school districts by the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and successfully fought this year for $602 million of GEA restorations. Moving forward, she is committed to continue chipping away at the GEA until it is fully eliminated.
Senator Stewart-Cousins was deeply distressed with the implementation of the Common Core this year. Parents, students, educators and other education stakeholders from all over her district and Statewide raised serious concerns.
Recognizing the need for change, Senator Stewart-Cousins successfully fought for key reforms to the Common Core implementation this year. Reforms she voted for include limiting the amount of time spent on testing and the number of tests administered to students. She also fought and voted for a moratorium on the Common Core testing component of teacher evaluations. Finally, the Senator voted to protect student privacy by prohibiting private contractors from harvesting mass student data. This new law effectively ended New York’s relationship with in Bloom.