Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today hailed the Senate’s passage of legislation he helped originate to permanently cap property taxes, and decouple teacher evaluations from the grade 3-8 standardized ELA and Math tests.

The bill the Senate passed today would make permanent New York’s 2 percent Property Tax Cap, which is set to expire in 2020. Since the Tax Cap became law, it has saved taxpayers over $23 billion in New York State and $344.5 million in the 49thSenate District represented by Tedisco.  Tedisco first introduced the Tax Cap over a decade ago when he was Assembly Minority Leader and fought tooth and nail to get it passed.

“The Tax Cap has saved taxpayers millions of dollars by putting a lid on out of control property taxes, which are among the highest in the nation.  The Senate and the Governor support making permanent this tool to ease the burden on taxpayers and now it’s time for the Assembly to pass this legislation,” said Senator Tedisco.

“In addition to making the tax cap permanent, the state should pass a state spending cap to limit state spending and mandate relief for local governments because if we’re going to expect our local governments to do more with less then so should our state government – what’s good enough for the goose should be good enough for the gander,” said Tedisco.

Tedisco, a former special education teacher, guidance counselor, athletic director and coach, is one of the few state legislators with actual real world classroom experience. Senator Tedisco, who introduced the decoupling bill last year and gave the measure to former Senator Carl Marcellino to prime sponsor, has long championed the decoupling of these tests and giving our educators and schools more local autonomy to focus on helping our children learn and grow. When Tedisco was in the Assembly, he debated the failure of the tests on the Assembly Floor, led the opt-out movement with his Common Core Parental Refusal Act legislation, and once asked the Governor to take the 5th Grade Common Core Test to prove if he’s smarter than a 5th grader.

“Testing should not be the ‘Holy Grail’ of our educational system but just one measurement out of a holistic set of ways to evaluate a child’s development. Research indicates that any Value Added Measure (VAM) that utilizes one measurement to an inordinate level such as the 50 percent level as it is in law now, is ineffective in correlating a teacher’s effectiveness as it relates to student learning,” said Tedisco.

“Our classrooms should be places where students are able to be engaged in learning and teachers are inspired to help our kids learn and grow — not laboratories for testing for testing’s sake that just stigmatizes children and robs teachers of their creativity. It’s time we close the book on the era of over-testing and stop the testing madness once and for all,” said Tedisco.