Education Related Issues On State Ballots This Fall: Mid-Atlantic
Tuition tax credits and changes in the state's teacher-pension system are among the issues that divide New York's gubernatorial candidates, Lieut. Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, the nominee of the Democratic and Liberal parties, and Lewis Lehrman, who will be on the ballot as a Republican, a Conservative, and an independent.
Ronald W. Frantz, an official of the 250,000-member New York State United Teachers, says his organization views the election as a referendum on support for public education. His union helped Mr. Cuomo in his campaign against New York City's Mayor Edward Koch for the Democratic nomination.
Mr. Lehrman supports tuition tax credits at both the federal and state levels; Mr. Cuomo opposes them. The Lieutenant Governor favors major changes in the teacher-pension system when it comes up for renewal in June 1983. He would drop either the requirement that employees contribute 3 percent of their salary to the system or a provision that requires teachers to forfeit $1 of their pension for every $2 they collect in Social Security. Mr. Lehrman wants to keep the law as it is.
The Republican nominee has proposed to make extensive use of the state's community-college system to prepare the state's workforce for high-technology jobs.
In Pennsylvania, the state affiliate of the National Education Associaton is waging an all-out effort to defeat Gov. Dick L. Thornburgh, who is being challenged by U.S. Representative Allen Ertel in his bid for a second four-year term. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, with 130,000 members including retirees, is considered one of the strongest political forces in the state. Four years ago, it endorsed Mr. Thornburgh. But for the past several months it has been locked in an acrimonious conflict with the Governor over state education aid. The association claims that Mr. Thornburgh failed to keep an earlier pledge to increase the level of state aid and that he has conducted "a continuous assault" on public education, according to William H. Campbell, a spokesman for the teachers' group.
The governor in Pennsylvania has the authority to appoint the chief state school officer and the state board of education.
The largest teachers' association in Delaware is concentrating on legislative races this year, in the hope of electing legislators sympathetic to the creation of a public-employee relations board. Without such a body, the state's new collective-bargaining law for teachers cannot take effect.
Vol. 02, Issue 08