On Tuesday, February 7th, 2017, a group of staff, parents, and students from the SAS family went to Albany for the NYS Charter School Advocacy Day. The intention of this event was to showcase SAS and other charters in NYS and to help build new relationships with those that create the laws that govern our schools. In addition, We sought to enhance the long-standing partnerships with the many lawmakers that have supported the amazing work done at SAS and other charters. The group was led by our amazing administration team that was represented by Dr. Kocak (School Director), Mr. Cetin (Assistant Director), Mr. Yavuz (Dean of the Middle School) and Mrs. Smith (Dean of the Elementary School). They were joined by nine of our dedicated parent partners with right students ranging from grades 2 through 10 as well as Mr. Carter a teacher from the Middle School.
What was our goal? Well, outside of the demonstration of what makes SAS great, we sought to describe what equitable funding could mean to their schools and futures! Many do not realize that charter schools only receive a fraction per pupil of what traditional public schools receive. As the per student amounts of aid have risen for traditional public schools, charter school funding have been frozen for many years. These issues combined with the unsubsidized building costs that charter school face diminish our potential. In addition, the state cap on charter enrollment makes it difficult for us to share our strengths with the community. Even with these circumstances, the accomplishments of SAS are amazing. Our graduation, college readiness, and college acceptance rates are things that any school should be proud of.
Our group met directly with Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter and Assemblyman William Magnarelli. The senior staff of Senator John Defrancisco and Senator Valesky met with our group to hear our concerns as these representatives were in chamber. These dedicated public servants listened to our staff, parents, and students talk about what it is to be at SAS and how our student-centered approach has yielded great results! As more and more lawmakers see what we have accomplished, we hope to make funding for SAS equitable with traditional public schools and present even more opportunities for our amazing students to shine bright! Go ATOMS!
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