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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Frederick Salerno

Frederick Salerno, Chief Financial Officer for Bell Atlantic and former Chairman of New York’s Commission on State Education Finance, took the stand this week to discuss the preparation of New York’s public school students for the contemporary workplace. He described the skills his company seeks in its employees, including the ability to communicate clearly, to reason and the capacity to learn new skills throughout their career as technology changes. He noted that rapid changes in technology have increased the educational demands placed on all of the company’s employees.

Notably, attorneys for the State of New York objected to questions about schools’ ability to prepare students for employment. They argued that the standard in the case is whether public school graduates are prepared to be jurors and voters, “and not as employees [who] keep up with changing technology in the business place.” Mr. Salerno also described the difficulty of finding sufficient numbers of public school graduates who are adequately prepared for the workplace. He testified that while President of New York Telephone, he found it hard to recruit qualified workers in New York City, and that “for certain jobs, even entry level jobs, we had to literally test 10 people to get one person to pass the test.”

Testimony given on December 7, 1999

Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >