Members of the Long Island Assembly minority delegation joined education advocates at a Monday morning press conference to voice concerns about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2013-2014 executive budget, which redistributes school aid away from Long Island.
Under the governor’s current proposal, Long Island students would receive an average of $66 in new funding per student,
far below the statewide average of $119 and the New York City average of $129 per student, the group argues.
The Assembly members launched a
petition drive, which has already collected more than 1,004 signatures, urging Gov. Cuomo to give Long Island students their fair share aid.
The Garden City Union Free School District would see a minimal increase in aid totaling $24,475, according to district officials.
“We are disappointed by the nominal amount of the aid
increase earmarked for the Garden City Schools. I trust that our
legislators will be able to secure additional funds which would allow the district to begin to pay for some of the many State and Federal mandates with which we
must comply,” assistant superintendent for business Al Chase told Patch.
Assemblyman Ed Ra, whose coverage area now includes Garden City,
said the new redistribution of aid puts a further squeeze on
overburdened taxpayers and takes crucial resources away from children. "Through this event and public support, we can send a message
that our children deserve the same amount of aid as those across the
state,” he said.
Assemblyman Brian Curran of the 21st district, believes the funding cuts "discriminate against kids for living on Long Island."
“The school children of Nassau County deserve the same opportunities and funds as school children in other parts of New York State," he said. "It’s ludicrous to think that the working families and seniors of the 21st district should pick up the expense for the accelerating cost of education statewide, while other regions are seeing proposed increases in their state school aid. It is time to stand up and fight for the kids of Nassau County."
Residents can sign the petition by
here. To see individual members of the delegation discuss the issue further, watch this