Press-Republican

February 27, 2014

Bisso to run again for Assembly

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Teacher Karen Bisso will once more run for the State Assembly.

She announced Wednesday that she will try again to unseat incumbent Janet Duprey (R-Peru) in the 115th District.

Bisso, 52, who teaches in the City of Plattsburgh School District, ran as a Conservative Party candidate in 2012 but came in third in a race that also featured Democrat Timothy Carpenter of Plattsburgh.

She plans to face off against Duprey in a Republican primary in September and will also seek the Conservative Party line again.

Duprey, 68, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2006, announced earlier this month that she would be running for another two-year term.

The district includes all of Clinton and Essex counties and four towns in eastern St. Lawrence County.

'KILL COMMON CORE'

Bisso said that, as an educator, she wants to get rid of the controversial Common Core system.

"Two years ago, I chose to run for Assembly because our state was headed in a dangerous direction. Our education system was being financially dismantled, millions of taxpayer dollars were being thrown into corporate welfare, and the state was doubling down on faulty economic and regulatory policies," she said in a news release.

"Today, I walk into the Plattsburgh High School as I have for 28 years, and I see the sheer desperation on the faces of students and teachers alike thanks to the travesty known as Common Core. 

"Unless removed from our schools, the Common Core will be the final nail in the coffin which began with the nationalizing of our education system, and the new teacher evaluation system coined 'APPR.'

"But most importantly, not one elected official has stepped forward to remove the Common Core from our schools.

"As a proud member of the North Country Alliance for Public Education, I will be standing with and advocating for parents to participate in the OPT OUT initiative for Common Core testing."

DUPREY SAYS FIX IT

Duprey said that she has been very vocal about improving Common Core, but eliminating it is not practical.

"I have spoken to many superintendents and teachers who feel that there are parts of Common Core that are good, but there need to be some improvements, and that is what we need to do," she said.

Duprey said the state would have to pay back significant amounts of federal funding that was attached to the Common Core program if it were repealed.

"Where is that money going to come from? It will come from education," she said.

"Very few people actually feel that it needs to be repealed, but just about everybody agrees that it needs to be fixed."

FIGHTING SAFE ACT

Bisso also is strongly against the SAFE ACT, stringent gun regulatory laws approved last year by the state.

"Within the last year, this state has continued to demonstrate its over-reaching arm into the lives of honest, hardworking, taxpaying New Yorkers by passing in the middle of the night and without transparency, the SAFE ACT," she wrote.

"Over the last year, I have been honored to participate in and be a guest speaker at over a dozen rallies statewide protesting the SAFE ACT, a law which makes law-abiding citizens criminals and continues to portray New York as unfriendly."

Duprey voted against the SAFE ACT, but she knows that it is very unlikely to be repealed.

"There are 65 members of the Assembly from New York City, and many of them feel that is the best legislation they ever voted on, and the governor would never sign a repeal," she said.

"That is the reality of it, but there are parts of it that do not make sense, and we should spend our energy trying to fix it."

INMATE EDUCATION

Bisso also said she is against spending money on free college educations for illegal aliens and inmates.

"We may lose yet another prison, a necessary employer and staple for our upstate economy, all the while tens of millions of dollars have been thrown at stimulus programs that have yet to show any provable results, and inmates and illegal aliens are offered a free college education," she said.

"Therefore, as a veteran teacher, a past member of a corrections household and a proud believer in our Constitution (especially the Second Amendment), I have chosen to run for 115th Assembly seat."

Duprey said she has been fighting to keep Chateaugay Correctional Facility, which is slated for closure this year, open and would like to see good rehabilitation programs in prisons, but not free college education.

"I have people coming to me with two degrees looking for jobs, and they can't find work, and they need help," she said.

"We can help inmates who want it by giving them programs and tools that will help them when they get out. 

"That's how you avoid recidivism."

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com