Joining Forces for Education

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Educational advocacy was the heart of the 20th annual Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the Valley Stream Council of PTAs on March 12. Elected officials, school district leaders and staff and members of the Valley Stream community were present at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School for a conversation about topics critical to the programs, funding and future of public education.

Represented at the breakfast was the Valley Stream Central High School District as well as the elementary districts: Valley Stream District 30, District 24 and District 13. Several political dignitaries were in attendance, including Mayor Edwin Fare, Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Legislator William Gaylor, Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, New York Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, New York Assemblyman Brian Curran and Tom Curry from U.S. Congresswoman Kathleen Rice’s office. Continental breakfast was prepared by the Valley Stream Central High School District Culinary Institute.

The participants engaged in discussions around matters such as the Common Core, Gap Elimination Adjustment, state aid, the tax cap, teacher evaluations, testing and more. The political leaders introduced themselves and summarized the efforts they have taken in the past year to benefit their school districts, then expressed their opinions and goals regarding education-related issues. They encouraged those in the audience to be active in communicating concerns and feedback.
 
“There’s more to the whole child than just a single test,” said Valley Stream Central High School District Board of Education President Dr. Frank Chiachiere, who also serves on the Valley Stream District 13 Board of Education. “Valley Stream is committed to each child, every day.”

The gathering of these individuals demonstrated the shared value that the Valley Stream schools, residents and local officials place on education, and their determination to be heard by the leaders in Albany.

“We were once again proud of the large attendance at this event, which reflects the dedication and collaboration of our legislators, school district leaders and residents,” said Valley Stream Central High School District Superintendent Dr. Bill Heidenreich. “Thank you to the Council of PTAs for organizing this important meeting, which brought us together, opened the floor for dialogue and shed light on potential solutions to current challenges.