CSA President Mark Cannizzaro’s Testimony Regarding NYC Council Fiscal Year 2019 Executive Budget
My name is Mark Cannizzaro, and as the President of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, I represent more than 16,000 active and retired men and women who provide leadership in our public schools and in city-funded day care centers.
We need your help.
Our members are aware of and grateful for the City Council and Administration’s ongoing support for our children and our schools. A Council which has elected Daniel Dromm, a former teacher and former Education Chair to serve as Finance Chairman, and Mark Treyger, another former teacher to serve as the current Education Chair.
We congratulate you both. We know your knowledge and experience in our schools and within the City Council will serve our children and our city well.
This Council has long recognized the need for adequate funding. There is no better evidence of your commitment to our children than the city’s recent announcement to provide an additional $125 million to bring our schools to 90 percent of the city’s funding formula.
Of course, 90% still leaves many schools underfunded. We therefore thank you for your commitment to continue working with us to achieve full funding for all schools. In addition, we need to work together to ensure that the “Fair Student Funding” formula is adjusted so that it no longer penalizes schools for the salaries of their teachers, unfilled seats and the type of special needs services offered.
Our children are our future. Their future is built within our schools. Our schools must be fairly and fully funded!
We are, also, especially grateful for the Council’s role in the growth of professional development programs offered through the Executive Leadership Institute, or ELI.
As per our March 23, 2018 testimony, ELI is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with CSA which provides cutting-edge professional development and standards-based, results-driven leadership training for New York City’s public school leaders. Since 2002, hundreds of New York City’s Principals, Assistant Principals, Education Administrators, Supervisors, Administrators, and Directors and Assistant Directors of Early Childhood Education have enhanced their skills to better serve NYC’s public education system.
We are especially proud of our programs that provide support and training for our newest supervisors, our year-long program that prepares aspiring principals for the rigors and complexity of the position and several new, innovative programs ELI has developed thanks to the support of the City Council. These programs include micro-credentialing, Text Talk and Writing Tasks, and our work with the NYC DOE iZone to enhance the success of our students learning English as a new language.
These are just some of the many successful programs created under ELI which are critically important to ensure that New York City’s students, teachers and leaders remain on the cutting edge of education innovation. Last year, the Council generously provided some $770,000 to help fund these professional development programs. As we approach FY19, with an eye on increasing offerings and engaging more school leaders, we are respectfully seeking an increase of $230,000 to bring the funding to one million dollars.
Finally, we believe that much more must be done within the administration to fund our Early Childhood programs and establish pay parity for hundreds of our city’s early childhood educators who deserve equal pay for equal work. Our Directors and Assistant Directors of Early Childhood Education working in city-funded day care centers support the signature program of Mayor de Blasio’s education agenda. These skilled professionals serve our youngest students by providing high quality and developmentally appropriate pre-k and 3k programs that put our youngest children on the path to success. The city must begin to treat these professionals with the same respect and provide the same salaries and working conditions that are afforded to their colleagues who work for the Department of Education. We respectfully request that the City Council stand with us to demand equity for these educators who have been taken for granted for far too long.
It is only with your help that we can expand our existing programs and develop new, equally exciting and valuable programs to create a stimulating educational environment for the most diverse school population in the world. We look forward to our ongoing partnership so that, together, we can provide our students with equitable opportunities to reach their fullest potential as students and as citizens.