Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Say Yes To Education Is Publicly Funded

It's time to put the rumor to rest and tell the taxpayers the truth about Say Yes To Education: Say Yes To Education is publicly funded.

Yes, it is true there are millions in private donations as well but supporters for Say Yes don't want you to know about the public tax dollars that are being sunk into Say Yes around the nation.

For example: In an article in the
"Re-elected to the Common Council in 2005, Miner championed — and helped pass — legislation that gave

$1 million in initial funding to “Say Yes to Education,” a program that provides support services for Syracuse City School District students and promises free or reduced tuition to students who graduate from city high schools."

And from NPR station WRPO we learn that just 7 years later Syracuse is still waiting on $20 Million Dollars in state funding to keep the program afloat.

"And he said there are some signs of progress, including a $20 million contract for Say Yes to Education, which provides college tuition to Syracuse school graduates.

“The only thing standing between that money being in a central New York bank account from where it is today is sign off from the office of the state comptroller,” Simpson said."

This comes at a time when David Friedfel, Director of State Studies at the Citizens Budget Commission, says that Syracuse schools are short $83 Million Dollars for the coming school year. What's the point in promising free college when you're not going to educate them in the first place?

Here's are the claims made by Say Yes Syracuse in 2011 as published in the Toledo Blade:

"The program is expensive. Say Yes estimates that it costs annually about $3,500 per student, and that's not counting the college scholarships. Right now, the district covers only about half of the $30 million to run the program but must pay for it on its own by the end of the 2013-2014 school year."

But as we now know Syracuse is waiting on a $20 Million Dollar bailout from the State of New York in 2017. And where is the State of New York hoping to get that $20 Million? Legal settlements from banks. In other words, the State of New York doesn't have the money yet either.

Ever heard of counting your chickens before they hatch?

And check this out. From the article Syracuse kids get free tuition through plan to spur economy using fines on banks:

"The endowment is the last remaining piece of the work Say Yes did in Syracuse to be taken over by local authorities.

Aside from the scholarships, Say Yes set up after-school programs, legal and mental health services in Syracuse. Those programs, and funding for them, have all been absorbed by a partnership between the city, school district and county.

The only Say Yes staff that remains in Syracuse works on college eligibility and financial aid. Say Yes also continues to offer free tuition to Syracuse students at 103 participating private colleges.

Say Yes to Education President Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey said she would take the lessons learned here to other regions of the country."

Have you ever seen a city, county, school board partnership that wasn't taxpayer supported?
The people who run Say Yes have already cut a trail and run, leaving Syracuse to fend for itself.

Meanwhile, over at Say Yes Buffalo.

From the Business Journal: $10 million state grant a big lift to Say Yes to Education Buffalo fundraising:

"A $10 million state grant would be the largest-ever gift to Say Yes to Education Buffalo and have a dramatic impact on the organization's ongoing fundraising activities."

But alas, the article continues...

"The grant was announced Monday as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion 2" plan and still must be approved in the state budget."

What's the deal? Why is the State of New York taking so long? Could it be they suspect something about Say Yes To Education that Greensboro, High Point, and Guilford County leaders would rather you and I not know?

And that Buffalo Billion program with which they hope to fund Say Yes Buffalo? Well as it turns out it has a few money problems of its own:

"But the management of the Buffalo Billion by the Cuomo administration has raised eyebrows — and concerns — in some quarters."

It only gets worse...

And just in case you are wondering, Say Yes Guilford has received funding from Guilford County, the Guilford County Schools, the City of Greensboro and the City of High Point.