Statement by Assembly Member Seawright Regarding her Vote on Assembly Bill A10427A in the Education Committee

The following statement was issued by Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright regarding her vote on Assembly Bill A10427A in the Education Committee:

"As a member of the Assembly Education Committee, it is with the highest regard for families in my district and students across New York City, that I voted “No” in the Education Committee on Assembly Bill A10427A which aims to change the admissions criteria of specialized high schools in New York City and to limit the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT).

I received the bill last Friday and a vote was scheduled for this morning. Therefore two business days were allowed for review, discussion and debate. On a topic this important, public hearings should first be conducted in each of the five boroughs to allow the public and stakeholders to express their views, concerns and suggestions. Rushing to a vote as we near the end of session is not the most effective way to address the issues at hand. There are many questions crying out for answers, including how successful middle school pipeline programs are in preparing students to compete and what programs must be replicated to create a more level playing field. I could not support legislation on the future of specialized high schools with little opportunity for student, teacher, parent, alumni and educator input.

We must be thoughtful and look at the issue holistically, with all stakeholders present before making a decision which will impact millions of children and families in New York City for decades to come. I look forward to working with New York City School’s Chancellor Richard Carranza to further address injustices in our public school system. All students deserve access to high-quality educational opportunities and to take advantage of specialized high schools in New York City if they merit the opportunity. That is why I voted “No” on A10427A."