Tonawanda News — One week into her tenure on the North Tonawanda Board of Education Ann Finkle launched an ambitious plan to pressure state officials on funding cuts and state mandates related to the Common Core.
In an interview this week with the Tonawanda News, Finkle said she has begun the process of organizing a large-scale convoy of buses to the state capital, with a fledgling effort to rally the disaffected employees, school board members and residents that make up 429 of the state’s school districts in upstate New York.
According to the New York State United Teachers analysis released earlier this year, adjusted for inflation, state support for public eduction has dipped to levels last seen in the 1940s, with nearly 70 percent of schools districts receiving less state aid than in 2009.
The retired teacher said she has seen enough of the effects state aid cuts and the mandated federal requirements of the Common Core — talking points during her short but vivacious campaign and familiar themes among the city’s Board of Education — that she says puts a stranglehold on teaching and gives directives without providing the economic means to fulfill them.
“I would like to see at least two busloads of people from every district, be they teachers, administrators or citizens of Western New York and Central New York districts to travel to Albany caravan-style to make our situation known,” she said. “This is the culmination of the promise I made during my campaign that I was going to go after the state on funding and the Common Core.”
Finkle has been an outspoken voice at city council and school board meetings for years before taking her first leap into the public arena in May, when she captured the highest vote total among four candidates seeking school board seats. She first announced her plan to North Tonawanda board members minutes after she was sworn into office last week, she said.