Dr. Rudy Mueller, candidate for NYS Assembly 150th District, recently commented, "I share the frustration expressed recently by Jill Scott, President of Chautauqua Lake School District, in the NYS Legislature's inability to authorize regional high schools in our area. Obviously she recognizes the serious financial and educational pressures being placed of local school boards, taxpayers and those whom ultimately suffer the most, the students. But this problem is a prime example of why I am running for the NYS Assembly and precisely the reason why I am the best choice for Chautauqua County voters to represent them in Albany."
Mueller added, "Ms. Scott complains about the Assembly's inaction this year. She realizes, as most voters do, we have over 18 different school districts trying to educate approximately 10,000 high school students in total. Obviously we have more than enough high schools, administrators and expensive buildings to maintain and yet recent budget pressures have forced many school districts to let go of talented teachers, eliminate or cut back on valuable programs and increase class sizes."
Mueller further explained, "How could the Assembly fail to act? Consider these facts, since 1966 Chautauqua County voters have elected a representative (Republican or Democrat) every election to the Assembly majority party, except in 2010 when both Assemblymen were in the minority. Likewise, voters since 1966 have also sent a Senator consistently in the majority party except during a brief period in 2008-9. According to NYPIRG(New York Public Interest Research Group), an Assembly majority party member is nearly four times more likely to pass their individual sponsored bills compared to a minority party member and a Senate majority party member is nearly ten times more likely compared to a minority party member. History clearly shows having Legislators from our county serving in the majority of both chambers makes a huge difference in passing significant legislation that delivers positive results for Chautauqua County and the people who live here. Senator Young, a Senate majority member, may have passed her 'regional high school bill' through the Senate, but it would be highly unlikely that our minority representatives would have had that same success in the Assembly."
Dr. Mueller added, "And Senator Young's bill still needs more work to be done. It will not pass the Assembly in its current form. However, in order for significant legislation to pass both chambers, such as authorizing regional high schools in Western, NY, voters will need an Assemblyperson who has a good working relationship with the Assembly leadership and the also the ability to work with Senator Young. When I was in the Chautauqua County Legislature, I demonstrated my ability to work out differences, form compromises with both sides of the aisle and even work with Senator Young. I delivered real results for Chautauqua County residents and I promise to do the same in Albany."
Mueller later added, "Some believe the main reason for regional high schools is to save taxpayers money. However I believe more importantly that this concept will provide a strong opportunity to improve the quality of high school education for students in Chautauqua County. More students will come together to learn from our county's best teachers, coaches, and other educators while also expanding their opportunities to study A.P., music, art, foreign language and other programs. This effort should also provide appropriate high school class sizes for many years to come. Our children's future and our local economy depends on a high quality 21st Century education delivered right here in Chautauqua County, 'The World's Learning Center.'"