October 22 debate will focus on BOCES financing, educational equality and Triborough
OCTOBER 18, 2012 — Assembly Candidate Kim Izzarelli supports public private partnership (P3) legislation currently being promoted by Senator Greg Ball and Assemblyman Robert Castelli and sees it as platform to begin to address the issue of educational equality in our local school districts.
“Brown v Board of Education determined that all children deserve equal access,” Izzarelli stated, recalling the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision. “Today, we’re paying the highest property taxes in the country here in Westchester, yet equal access to properly maintained school building facilities for our neediest and most-challenged student populations is being denied.”
Izzarelli notes the recent failure of Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES to secure permission from its 18 participating districts for its $16.9 million capital improvement bond request. This is the second year that the 100% consensus vote was not reached among the participating member school districts, as the BOCES cooperative has no taxing authority of its own.
“There is an inequity here because we are supplanting needs of one group of students. By law, BOCES can neither carry its own debt nor allow the member districts to capitalize the cost in their own capital budgets. With the creation of P3 legislation, that inequity could be eliminated,” said Izzarelli.
“Educational equality is a basic right for all children and I see no reason why BOCES cannot engage in a public-private partnership to rebuild and make repairs to its facilities. This would enable BOCES to make ‘availability payments’ to a P3 investor to maintain its physical plant just as it would make any other payment. This is a smart concept to expand access to capital.”
Izzarelli says she is looking forward to the October 22nd debate at Haldane High School in Cold Spring at 7PM. Unlike previous debates with her opponent, this venue will have a public audience.
“Mrs. Galef continues to advance an agenda that is out of sync with today’s working families,” said Izzarelli. “In addition to remaining silent on the P3 concept, Mrs. Galef doesn’t want to repeal the Triborough Amendment or discuss any modification to binding interest arbitration. That speaks volumes about who she really is, who she really represents and how determined she is to preserve her Albany power base. In Albany, I will make the tough calls our kids are counting on.”