Educating Northern New York: Cradle to Career

In Northern New York, our educational institutions are not only spaces for learning and development. Our schools are embedded in our region’s communities and are often the heart of our towns and villages. These institutions provide opportunities for socialization and culture, for employment, and even for shelter, as in the Ice Storm of 1998. More than just schools and colleges, these spaces represent Northern New York’s hope for the future and commitment to our young people. Tedra Cobb will work to guarantee full access to high-quality childcare and education for our district’s children—from cradle to career.

Supporting Local Education

In many of Northern New York’s counties, nearly 25% of children live below the poverty line. Our Northern New York schools, public and private, are working miracles with limited resources. They struggle to provide crucial services such as healthcare (including dental care and mental health counseling), hot breakfasts and lunches, and backpack programs that send nutritious food home with children over the weekend.

Tedra will advocate for establishing universal, full-day preschool in NY21’s schools so that every child begins his or her education with access to high-quality and free schooling. She will fight for increased federal funding for those programs that improve the health and well-being of our kids. If we can guarantee a healthy and vibrant beginning, kids are much more likely to continue their education at the postsecondary level. The CDC reports such efforts also produce significant economic savings for communities, as these interventions improve health outcomes and reduce crime, welfare dependency, and child abuse.

As a parent to one college student and one recent graduate, Tedra is all too familiar with the rising cost of college tuition and the effect it can have on family finances. She also understands the importance of postsecondary education in today’s job market. To ease the burden on NY21 families, Tedra will fight to secure federal grants and funding for postsecondary education, expand tax credits to families with children in college, cap student loan payments and lower student loan interest rates, so that recent graduates are not debt-ridden upon graduation.

Our district’s colleges and universities provide training, culture, entertainment, employment, and expertise in our region. State Universities of New York (SUNY) and private universities throughout our region provide valuable vocational training, professional degrees, and civic education. Tedra knows that encouraging young graduates to establish themselves in Northern New York is the best foundation for the region’s economic future and appreciates those programs that work with that goal in mind. Clarkson University’s Shipley Center for Innovation, for example, provides the necessary support for entrepreneurs who wish to start new businesses in Northern New York.

Tedra knows how invaluable our district’s colleges and universities are in ensuring success and financial stability for our children. She will fight to maintain crucial programs that are at risk of deep cuts in the current budget, such as America’s College Promise and the American Technical Training Fund (ATTF), which would give block grants to two-year programs in fields such as energy, IT, and advanced manufacturing. Tedra wants to give Northern New York’s young people the best chance at achieving their goals and reinvesting their skills in our district.

Fighting for Beneficial Federal Policy

Tedra is concerned with the current federal education agenda, which promotes private education for the elite at the expense of public education for the overwhelming majority of American children. While she supports a family’s right to select a private education, she sees the deception behind proposed deep cuts to public education to divert limited resources to the euphemistic “school choice” movement. Tedra knows our schools work best when they are empowered to hire, support, and retain the best teachers, and Tedra opposes charter school initiatives that hire less-qualified applicants for less pay.

Federal programs of previous decades have provided educational opportunities for millions of American children and are now under threat. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, originally part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, provides funds for everything from Title I reading and math remediation for struggling students to addressing campus sexual assault through Title IX. Later acts such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) brought our disabled population into our educational systems and provided for special education services. The more recent Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides guidelines for special education, bullying prevention, and gifted and talented education. Tedra Cobb knows every one of these programs has been put at risk by the current federal agenda and will fight to protect these programs.

Tedra will fight for education in Washington, DC. She is committed to increasing necessary funding for education, from preschool to postsecondary, to improving equity in education, and to resisting all efforts to dismantle public education and the progress of the past decades. She will advocate for the public education system to which she owes her own success and which has served her own children so well.

Tedra knows that schools matter. Ensuring that Northern New Yorkers have access to high-caliber schools from cradle to career will lead to a better quality of life, greater employment opportunities, and improved job and population retention across the region.

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