Friday, June 23, 2006

NYS charter school cap not dead yet! Contact your legislator!

The cap list for charter schools in NY state looked to be completely dead as recently as a few days ago, but apparently Pataki is still pushing it (three cheers for him!) and a deal could be struck as the current legislative session goes into overtime.

Negotiations that began as the annual "budget clean-up bill" with some additional health and environmental spending took on a more complex and contentious tone Thursday, lawmakers said.

Pataki brought lifting a cap on charter schools to the table, while legislative leaders sought to add funding for nursing homes, health programs and New York City, lawmakers said.

Lawmakers were grudgingly preparing for a long haul that could take them into next week despite Thursday's end of the scheduled six-month session.

So if you live in New York, don't just sit there! Contact your legislator! Here's an email from the Center for Education Reform with details on how to do so:

ACT NOW: Contact Your Legislator to Support Raising Charter School Cap

Dear Charter School Supporters:

New York State Charter Schools need your help TODAY!

The New York State Assembly has a final opportunity to increase the number of charter schools possible in New York State.

As part of final budget negotiations occurring this afternoon, the possibility exists that the legislature can include language that will allow additional innovative and accountable public charter schools to open.

You have an opportunity to work with Governor Pataki to encourage your legislator to support this important legislation. If the legislature fails to act today, this measure will die until next year.

Please visit CER’s Grassroots Action Center to send an email, fax, or even call your legislators to voice your support of lifting the cap on charter schools in New York State!

If you have trouble reaching this page, visit our website and click on the Grassroots Action Center button on the left side of the page. From there you can enter your zip code or select your state.

It is critical that you make your voice heard TODAY!

Billion dollar deal eludes Legislature, Pataki
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press
Last updated: 9:56 p.m., Thursday, June 22, 2006
ALBANY -- The Legislature ended its scheduled 2006 session Thursday without agreeing on a multibillion deal with Gov. George Pataki. They will try again Friday to agree on the complex deal that could link property tax rebate checks, expand charter schools, provide a retirement incentive for state workers and increase funding for health programs and nursing homes.

Negotiations that had been scheduled to end Wednesday night dragged on through Thursday. The Senate then abruptly ended its evening session to return Friday morning.

The Assembly had already planned to add an extra day to the session.

"I'm optimistic we're going to have closure tomorrow and complete a session with more progress on criminal justice and government reform in decades," said Sen. Nicholas Spano, a Westchester Republican...

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