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Governor George Pataki served three terms as the 53rd Governor of the state of New York.

During his tenure, Governor Pataki focused on several key issues, including tax cuts, economic development, criminal justice reform and the creation of charter schools in the state. As Governor, he cut taxes for 12 straight years, stimulating economic growth and transformed New York from the most dangerous state in America to the safest large state.

Pataki also prioritized environmental protection, with a landmark agreement to protect the New York City watershed, the establishment of the Hudson River Park and the preservation of over 1,000,000 acres of open space.

As governor during the  9/11/01 attacks, Pataki played a led the State through their recovery efforts, providing support to New Yorkers affected by the tragedy. He led the rebuilding of Ground Zero, highlighted by the development of the memorial, the Freedom Tower and the transformation of Lower Manhattan into a 24/7 work-live community.

Through the work of his non-for-profit, Pataki has led several missions to Ukraine, delivering over 200 tons of medical supplies, modular housing units, and heat for over 1,000,000 refugees.

This year, Governor Pataki was nominated for a Nobel Prize due to his humanitarian work in Ukraine. Click here to read more on the Center's mission to aid Ukraine. 

Governor George Pataki long believed that competition, accountability and parental choice would improve educational outcomes. In 1998 he was proud to sign into law the New York State Charter Schools Act. Since then, the number of charter schools in New York has grownsteadily. 

As of the 2022-23 school year, New York has 343 operating charter schools serving over 170,000 students. The first charter school in New York was the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, which opened in 1999. It was named after Walter Sisulu and Mary McLeod Bethune Walker, two prominent civil rights leaders, and was designed to serve students in grades K-2. 

Since then, many more charter schools have opened across the state, serving students from a
variety of backgrounds and with a range of academic needs.

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