News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
Teachers' union chief reacts to Cuomo's DNC delegate speech
On Thursday, when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo addressed New York's delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte N.C., he touted the state as a "progressive capital" and cited instances of where he said the U.S. could follow the state's lead.
"We know you can improve the education system and invest in the education, and also have performance and evaluation in our education system. We just did that in New York - ask Dick Iannuzzi, ask Mike Mulgrew," he said during his speech, referencing the names of the NYSUT and UFT presidents.
We caught up with Ianuzzi, who was on hand as a DNC delegate, next day. In Albany he was a leading voice against the Cuomo/legislative property-tax cap as enacted last year, expressing concern about a cut in educational resources. Here's his response to being selected by the governor from the podium as someone to "ask:"
"We've made a lot of progress on the evaluation issue, working collaboratively, and proud of that work. With respect to an investment in education, the governor and I obviously differ as to how far the state needs to go," Iannuzzi said. "On the larger issue of New York state as a progressive state, I think we've achieved some amazing social-agenda issues that are truly progressive. And the governor has handled a huge government financial crisis, but if we're going to continue to build a progressive agenda, then that agenda has to show a real respect and commitment to public service, public workers, and their unions."
"At the end of the day, education is the basis for a real economic and progressive fututre."