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‘The Capitol Pressroom’ features gubernatorial candidates Rob Astorino and Howie Hawkins

Just before Election Day, Susan Arbetter hosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino and Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins on The Capitol Pressroom. The hot topic was education.

Rob Astorino, said the public education school formula, how state aid is allocated to school districts, needs revamping. While he would like to see all the funding restored that has been redirected, Astorino said, “I’m not sure we can do it. I will try my best, but we do have big deficits coming ahead according to the Comptroller.”

Howie Hawkins clarified his opinion of charter schools. “I’m not for charter schools, they are not publicly accountable, but they use public money. But they are set up and if they’re doing a good job at educating…I would not want to stop them at this point.”

“I’m not in favor of creating more charter schools when our public schools are underfunded,” Hawkins went on to say. “[Public schools] are at a 65 year low in terms of the proportion of the state budget going in state aid to public schools. Charter schools are a drain on public school.”

Both Hawkins and Astorino reiterated their criticism of Governor Cuomo’s comments to the Daily News about public teachers.

“Who in their right mind would do that?” Astorino said. “I can’t imagine anyone that I trust more with my three kids–other than my wife and my immediate family–than a teacher. They are with their teachers more than they are with us each week. For Cuomo to go out and attack public schools teachers are just, I can’t understand it.”

Hawkins said, “Unfortunately, Andrew Cuomo told the Daily News Editorial Board last week that he wants to ‘break up the public monopoly of public schools’–which means he’s going to go after the public schools and promote charters. If you want to help kids get educated you don’t attack the schools; you don’t attack the teachers. You make sure they have the funds they need and let the teachers teach, instead of imposing this high-stakes ‘test and punish’ regime, which is pushing teachers out of schools.”

Listen to the full interviews here.

Polls are open for the 2014 elections tomorrow.

Pareese Hankerson and Alyssa Plock. 

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