(Jericho, NY) Senate Candidate Jim Gaughran held the first event of his community education concerns listening tour at the home of Saundra Gumerove and Jeff Bernstein in Jericho. Jim was joined by twenty local parents of public school students to discuss their concerns about public education issues, including the implementation of the Common Core standards. The 5th Senate District is made up of communities in Suffolk and Nassau counties, both of which had amongst the highest opt-out rates for the Common Core standardized tests. Gaughran's tour follows an incident in which Senator Marcellino, the Senate Education Chair, refused to listen to the public education concerns of a group of local parents and ultimately kicked them out of his office.
“I firmly believe that elected officials should provide support to our state’s educators and have a responsibility to listen and be respectful of parents and public education stakeholders,” Jim Gaughran said. “Unfortunately, current Senator Carl Marcellino has refused to address the crisis our public schools are facing, despite the facts that he was one of the architects of this disaster and that he is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee. The apathy for our students and hostility to public school parents and educators is inappropriate, and Long Island families deserve better from our State Senator.”
In recent weeks, multiple reports have been issued by parents who sought to discuss their concerns about public education with Senator Carl Marcellino, only to be rebuffed and kicked out of his office. This behavior would be inappropriate for any elected representative, though it is especially inappropriate given the fact that Carl Marcellino is Chair of the Senate Education Committee and his Senate District includes schools with some of the highest opt-out rates in New York State. In contrast to this behavior, Jim Gaughran’s listening tour will provide parents, educators and student with the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the public education system and will help guide Jim as he seeks to implement reforms and improve the quality of education Long Island students receive.
Jeff Bernstein, Educator & Father Of Public School Students in Jericho, said, “Too many Long Island parents feel powerless by the sweeping education changes rushed through and implemented on our children’s schools. Adding insult to injury is the fact that our current Senator, Carl Marcellino, seems completely disinterested and even outright dismissive about our concerns. Public school parents deserve to have their voices heard and their concerns addressed, and that is why I am so happy to have the opportunity to speak with Jim Gaughran. Jim understands that Long Island families deserve a representative who cares about their issues, and that is why he is going to be a great State Senator.”