“The Bethlehem Central Teachers Union last week voluntarily gave up pay raises for the 2011-12 school year in an effort to offset proposed state-aid reductions contained within Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget. This generous decision makes it clear that the teachers of the Bethlehem school district care deeply about their students and the quality of their education. I applaud these teachers’ efforts to save jobs and put their students first.
“The teachers union made it clear that the money saved should be used to preserve instructional jobs. I encourage the Bethlehem Central school board to support this good-faith concession by the teachers and save as many jobs as possible.
“I’ve contacted school superintendents, teachers, and administrators throughout our assembly district. Each expressed their support for a pay freeze if it meant saving the job of a fellow educator and friend. These teachers and education advocates fully understand our state’s dire fiscal situation and are willing to do their part. I will continue to ask stakeholders to join me to help save the most important jobs in New York State and keep teachers where they belong: in the classroom.
“I’m hopeful that other schools in our assembly district and across the state will be encouraged by the leadership of the Bethlehem teachers and find areas for responsible spending reductions and efficiencies while preserving a quality education for our children.”