WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Lower Westchester Education Consortium launched in 2012 as a group concerned with the state of public education for the 12 districts it represented.
However, controversial reforms like the Common Core curriculum and state funding tied to local tax levy caps have caused the group's numbers to swell to the point where a name change became necessary.
The advocacy group recently changed its name to the New York Suburban Consortium for Public Education because it is more representative of its growing footprint. The group now represents over 113,000 students in 38 school districts in four downstate counties -- Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange.
"This incredible growth should put legislators on notice," Natalie Barry, co-chair of the consortium, said in a statement. "We’re not just a few disgruntled soccer moms worried about our children's test scores. The issues of funding, privacy and the rollout of the Common Core standards affect every student in these districts, and concern over how our elected leaders are responding is clearly widespread."
The consortium has provided a list of demands it wants to have resolved. The demands will also be the criteria the group uses when endorsing politicians during election years.
The demands are:
- Pause the Common Core rollout, Including the Annual Professional Performance Review.
- Address the privacy concerns with students' private information.
- Provide real mandate relief .
- Restore funding like the Gap Elimination Adjustment.
“Our children are our greatest resource and our future,” Lisa Eggert Litvin, co-president of the Hastings PTSA, said in a statement. “New York state must allocate its financial resources accordingly.”