Hyndman Stresses Education in the 29th
Democrat in Special Election Says Schooling and Jobs Go Hand-in-Hand
Alicia Hyndman’s road to Tuesday’s election in the 29th State Assembly District began several years ago when she tried unsuccessfully to enroll her eldest child in the school of her choice.
“I still got her into a good school,” Hyndman said. “But I felt the frustration of a parent.”
Hyndman, the Democratic nominee in the 29th, decided to get involved, and has now served on Community Education Council 29 for a decade. She believes that bringing state resources to the district — particularly for education — is the quickest a way of improving the quality of life for residents.
In her career, Hyndman supervises several aspects of secondary vocational education for the state Department of Education.
She believes the proper allocation of state money can have ripple effects throughout places like the 29th District, where she faces Republican Scherie Murray.
She used vocational and technical education as an example.
“We would like all students to go on to college,” she said. “But some won’t.”
She said teaming with schools that provide training in fields like medical assistant, and home health aides, auto repair, cosmetology and other areas should be given greater importance.
“I would like to see a cosmetology school open in the district,” she said, citing the success of a barber school out in Nassau County. “Their students get jobs. Some have started their own businesses.”
She said vocational education, along with government programs that help small business startups, can change communities. Hyndman, a native of England, said the right education and business programs can be of particular help to immigrants.
“It’s an entry to the middle class,” she said.
Her preferred committee assignments, if given a choice, would be education, economic development and one dealing with environmental issues.
Her first bill, though she would be unlikely to be the first or only sponsor, would be Dream Act legislation aimed at securing college education funds for the children of illegal immigrants.
If elected, Hyndman would join an Assembly with an overwhelming majority of her fellow Democrats. Any bill she supported would also have to be approved, even if by negotiation, by a Senate with a slight Republican edge.
She doesn’t see that as a problem.
“You have to play well with everyone in the sandbox,” she said.
On other education matters, Hyndman said she would exercise caution before granting any mayor full, permanent control of the schools. Mayor de Blasio was given a one-year extension by the Legislature this year.
But she pointed out that giving permanent control to a mayor one agrees with also gives it to a successor who might not share the same vision.
“I think eight years or 10 might be better,” she said.
She is opposed to the co-location of charter schools in existing school buildings.
by Michael Gannon, Editor