Where Are the Principals on Cuomo’s New Education Council?


When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s new Reimagine Education Advisory Council on May 8, a large hole was evident to educators and parents around the state – the complete exclusion of school building principals and administrators from the list of chosen committee members.

The governor’s press release stated that the committee is “made up of educators, students, parents and education leaders – to help districts reimagine schools as they prepare to reopen while protecting health and safety, how virtual learning can bridge the gap, and supplement face to face education when schools reopen.” Yet, the very people who are responsible for the enormous task of assuring the safety and individual educational needs of each child in a school building are not represented on the committee.

The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) strongly urges the governor to consider the addition of a school building principal to The Council for these most important conversations.

“Principals are on the frontline during this current crisis, providing the onsite management of critical services such as food distribution, childcare, and distance learning,” Commented Stuart Pollak, principal of Sycamore Avenue Elementary School in Connetquot and SAANYS president. “My colleagues and I are ultimately responsible for each and every student, teacher, and staff member in our care. What instructional strategies are working, which students are struggling, which families are struggling, enhancing student engagement, meeting student mental health needs – these are just some of the issues we work on each and every day. The voice and experience of the building principal should be added to any conversation about the future for our schools and students.”

SAANYS represents nearly 8,000 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators. As a professional association, SAANYS is committed to providing direction, service, and support to the membership in their efforts to improve the quality of education and leadership in New York State schools. SAANYS is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).