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High taxes, Common Core among complaints at Ithaca town hall

High taxes, Common Core among complaints at Ithaca town hall

State Senator Tom O'Mara speaks to area residents at a town hall meeting held at the Franziska Racker Centers in Ithaca, Wed. Feb. 12, 2014/Photo by Pete Blanchard

Area residents got a chance to voice their concerns at a town hall meeting held in Ithaca Wednesday night.

Those who came to the Franziska Rackers Center Wednesday complained about the state’s high property taxes, as well as the new Common Core learning standards being implemented in school districts statewide.

State Senator Tom O’Mara spoke critically of the state education department, including state education commissioner John King.

“Arrogance is the right word for the way he’s approached this in the community meetings that he’s done around the state,” O’Mara said.

O’Mara said the changes that the Board of Regents made this week were a step in the right direction, but that the implementation of Common Core has been “a disaster.”

“[We’re] not allowing our districts the time to develop their own curriculum, which I believe they should, with local control,” O’Mara said. “Given more time, hopefully we’ll see our districts be able to develop their curriculum, and have the teachers develop their own lesson plans to teach the way that they’re most gifted at teaching.”

O’Mara’s 58th Senate District encompasses a portion of Tompkins County, including the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses.

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