Monday, February 7, 2011

Greed Prevents New York's Teachers' Unions from Learning Math

New Yorkers for Growth sent the e-mail below (with this article attached) in favor of Andrew Cuomo's  property tax cap.  The article points out that Taxachussetts has lower taxes than New York and that the Taxachusetts tax cap, which is similar to the one that Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing, has resulted in  better education than New York's more expensive education system.  More spending will not improve education.

Last semester a student in my class said that she was majoring in education and that after graduation she planned to become a principal.  I spent several classes on writing.  Following one of the classes the future principal asked, "Are we going to keep working on writing, or will we learn?" 

Its achievement is average but the state's spending is the nation's highest. The problem is its   "progressive" education approach, which reflects a Democratic Party-dominated education establishment.  Many New Yorkers prefer to spend thousands of dollars per year to send their children to Catholic schools whose budgets are one fourth --no typo-- public schools'.  In other words, New Yorkers spend $4,500 to send their children to Catholic schools to avoid public schools that cost $17,500 per student.  But the New York State Union of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers insist that too little is spent. 

Why did not Governor Pataki propose a tax cap five or ten years ago?  If the New York State GOP can answer that question without blaming the Democrats (for Pataki was a Republican, not a Democrat, and if what he does depends on the Democrats, then there is no point in voting for Republicans) then they will be on the road to improving their party. 

My complaint about Cuomo's proposal is that it does not go far enough.  Vouchers are preferable to the current education system.

>February 7, 2011

We thought you might be interested in this article that appeared in the Buffalo News yesterday. It compares New York's tax burden to that of our neighboring state, Massachusetts. The article highlights how Massachusetts' property tax cap has been a successful tool in driving down the overall tax burden for residents and small business owners.

Massachusetts, once notoriously known as "Taxachusetts," implemented a property tax cap in 1980 similar to the one now being proposed by Governor Cuomo and already adopted by the state Senate. Despite what teacher union critics in New York say, the property tax cap in Massachusetts has worked extraordinarily well.

As a result of the cap, the attitude toward taxation has changed. Localities have found ways to consolidate and reduce duplication of services. Taxpayers have found themselves with more power, while local governments have been forced to make a case for increased spending. The days of taxpayers being simply an endless source of financing for ever larger, less efficient government has come to an end.

The article also rebuts critic's most threatening claim that the quality of education will suffer. Massachusetts scores higher than New York in nearly every fourth and eighth grade reading, math and writing test and ranks number one in the nation in fourth and eighth grade math and reading. While New York spends the most per pupil in the country, our test scores consistently rank 24th or 25th in performance.

The proof is in the pudding. Massachusetts has successfully reduced its tax burden and New York can and must do the same. Of course, the tax cap is just one piece of the puzzle, albeit a critical one. We have a lot of work to do to change our "tax attitude," including reducing spending and ending unfunded mandates. New Yorkers for Growth will continue to be a leader in this fight, and we hope you'll join us in our efforts to make New York affordable again.


New Yorkers for Growth


Phil said...

So is Cuomo > Pataki?

Mitchell Langbert said...

Can you think of any reasons why I should say no? I cannot think of any. Of course, Cuomo just got into office, but did Pataki propose a tax cap?