New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider issued this statement following the second installment of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State:
“In today’s installment of his 2021 State of the State address, Gov. Cuomo once again highlighted some key issues of concern for students and schools.
“The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the wide digital divide in our state, as schools have relied heavily on remote education. Broadband access is a critical tool for learning. Though internet access continues to improve, it still falls short for many students, teachers – and even school board members. We agree with the governor’s assessment that access without affordability is ‘meaningless.’ Therefore, NYSSBA is encouraged by the governor’s proposals for low-cost access for low-income households and subsidized service for the neediest children.
“We are excited about the governor’s proposal to reinvigorate the arts and cultural activities. The arts are integral to the development of skills such as teamwork and leadership for our students. New York public school students and teachers are eager to resume their role as contributors to the visual and performing arts in their communities.
“We await more details on all of these proposals for a more in-depth analysis. School board members look forward to being part of the discussion to help ensure that New York’s recovery from this pandemic is equitable for all students.”
The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 670 school boards and more than 5,200 school board members in New York.
Per readMedia, the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) shares Cuomo's concerns regarding access for all to broadband Internet. SAANYS was “pleased to hear the governor place this item as a priority, as it so directly impacts the educational opportunities for many K-12 students around New York state during this pandemic and beyond.”
SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey said, "The governor's internet access proposal is laudable and needed. We have heard too many stories of students having to travel to parking lots and commercial properties just to be able to attend school that day. The plan to make high-speed service affordable for low-income households will benefit students today and into the future, as virtual learning increasingly becomes part of the educational paradigm."
SAANYS does caution that, although efforts have been made to address infrastructure for internet access, gaps remain in some areas, affecting thousands of school children. Continued work with providers is needed to ensure standards and quality are consistent across the state.
SAANYS represents over 7,900 school administrators, supervisors and coordinators. SAANYS is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).