New York State Executive Chamber | Governor Eliot Spitzer

September 12, 2007

Visit to Onondaga County High School Highlights Education Reforms and the Impact of State’s Historic Investment in Education

Governor Eliot Spitzer today visited Fayetteville-Manlius High School in Onondaga County to welcome students back to school. The Governor viewed first hand the programs the district is enhancing with the help of the state’s historic new education funding. The visit is one of several school visits Governor Spitzer has made since schools opened last week. The Fayetteville-Manlius school district received $17.1 million in state education funds this year, an increase of $2.1 million or 13.7%, over last year. Fayetteville-Manlius is using the increased funding to improve their technology resources, professional development program and academic intervention services, as well as to implement a new program called “Fast Forward” to help younger students learn to read.

At Fayetteville-Manlius High School the Governor observed experiments led by students from the Science Olympiad team, which has won state championships in the last five years and a national title in 2004.

The Governor was accompanied on his visit by local administrators, teachers, and state and local officials.

“While the first day of school is always filled with optimism for new beginnings, this year we aspire even higher,” said Governor Spitzer. “Working with the legislature, we have ushered in a new era for education in New York State -- an era where schools receive the funding they desperately need to give students the highest quality education and where that funding is tied to critically important accountability measures.”

“With the beginning of a new school year, we can clearly see the impact our new commitment and our reforms will have on children across the state. As a result of our historic investment, more children will be enrolled in pre-kindergarten than ever before; more children will spend more time in the classroom than ever before; more children will learn in smaller classes than ever before; and more children will benefit from enhanced teacher training,” added Governor Spitzer.

The State Budget provided $19.6 billion in education funding, which is an increase of nearly $1.8 billion or 10% over last year. The budget reformed the state’s School Aid formula to target aid increases to the neediest districts, with all districts receiving an increase of at least three percent. The Governor additionally linked increased school funding to the accountability measures.

Senator David J. Valesky said: “New York has many great public schools, and today Governor Spitzer is visiting one of the best -- not just in the state, but in the country. This school represents what all public schools across the state could become with this Governor’s focus on education and unprecedented commitment to our schools. The historic increase in education aid in this year’s state budget will allow Fayetteville-Manlius to continue their tradition of excellence, and will make it possible for more high-needs schools to achieve their goals.”

Assemblyman Albert Stirpe said: “Because of the historic increase in funding, Fayetteville-Manlius has been able to improve their ability to help those students having trouble keeping up with todays increasingly demanding curriculum. They have added an Academic Intervention Counselor, started a program called Fast Forward to assist students in K-2nd grade that require extra support learning to read, and increased Staff Development in the use and understanding of test data to improve student achievement. In addition they have been able to improve the use of technology by replacing their Elementary computers and the addition of Smart Boards in the classrooms.”

The State Budget provided the following funding changes:

Over the last two weeks, the Governor has visited schools in the South Bronx, Broome County, Monroe County and Erie County.