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Rally to Challenge Cuomo on School Aid

Republicans, educators to push demand for change in distribution of aid.

Several school administrators and Long Island Republican Assembly members are planning a rally in Huntington Monday to urge changes in how school aid is distributed.

Long Island representatives and educators have long complained that the region pays a disproportionate share of taxes compared to what it gets back in state aid.

The lineup of educators expected to attend includes leaders from both counties, among them James McKenna, president of the Suffolk School Superintendents Association, James March, president of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association, Gary Bixhorn, chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Dr. David Bennardo, superintendent of the South Huntington school district, and the superintendents from Sachem and Connequot.

The Assembly members include Chad Lupinacci, a former member of the South Huntington school board who took office in January, pledging to help school districts.

The campaign to change the aid system includes an online petition and a Youtube video.

The petition says that "under Gov. Cuomo’s budget, Long Island schools would only receive $66 per student in new aid, far below the statewide average of $119 and about half of the New York City average of $129 per student."

Also expected at the rally are Assembs. Andrew Raia, R-East Northport, Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Smithtown, Al Graf, R-Holbrook, Andrew Gabarino, R-Sayville, Joseph Saladino, R-Massapequa, Michael Montesano, R-Glen Head, Edward Ra, R-Franklin Square, Daniel Losquadro, R-Shoreham and Brian Curran, R-Lynbrook. 

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The rally is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday at Whitman High School. Parents, PTA members and members of the South Huntington school board are also expected to attend.

Free 2B Me February 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM
In one month, our Assemblyperson, Chad Lupinacci, has done more to shed light on the woeful underfunding of Long Island schools compared to all other regions in New York than any leader in the Region has done in the past decade Long Island receives $66.00 per student in State funds while the New York average is nearly $120.00 per student. Lupinacci is also not shy to directly call out the Governor on this issue. Heck, if we could just get a little closer to the State average, we could be enhancing programs for children and function within the tax cap student. Instead, we are slowly tearing down program and pointing fingers at the people that dedicate their lives to teaching children. BRAVO Chad!!! Fight the good fight. Save our schools, keep our taxes in check, help our kids!!! I hope that our local State Senators also jump on this bandwagon. F2B.... me .
JSC February 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM
No, this is the same old dance LI schools have gone through for decades! We've ALWAYS gotten less than every other NY area, our Supts and school boards and legislators have ALWAYS gone up to Albany to fight for more. Lupinacci may just be the newest guy to come to the dance - nothing new going on. When all is said and done, LI districts will most likely get a bit more than the Governor's proposal and all our elected officials can say they did the job! It's happened this way year after year after year. What's unfortunate is that we have to go through this little cha-cha all the time to try to get some of what we need for our schools. While much of LI looks too wealthy to qualify for more aid, there is a lot of poverty and the resulting needs of the children coming from impoverished homes costs districts millions. A lot of what your district gets is based on the CWR, Combined Wealth Ratio, for your district. Ask your Supt of Business what that means and how it affects the amount of money coming back to your schools.
Clifford Sondock February 22, 2013 at 03:52 PM
State "under funding" of education is not the real problem. There is a systemic problem with Government/union run K-12 education. The schools are run as quasi-Government service providers with one size fits all state mandates and union teachers. The schools do not compete among themselves for students based upon cirriculum, teachers, quality or price. The K-12 education system is a monopoly in which parents have little choice where they send their children to school, except based upon where they live. The funding for schools is unfair based upon a limited area within a specific school district boundary instead of within a larger, more dispersed county. The solution is a county voucher funding system with parental choice where they send their children to school based upon each child's unique needs, preferences, interests and strengths. Schools should be allowed to consolidate and compete among each other for students. A market-based education system would determine naturally what cirriculums are most popular and what schools are preferred and where they are located.
Frank H. February 22, 2013 at 07:51 PM
There are to many school districts. There are 8 in the Town of Huntington 126 on Long Island.
Laura February 22, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Long Island pays one of the highest taxes. Yet we get less and less from the government. Our electex offocials get their raises. Theyvare also playing the same game on the loans college students take out. Elections have consequences. 2014 is not that far away.
A Taxpayer February 22, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Unfortunately, no one in Albany cares what Mr. Lupinacci thinks or wants since the Assembly includes 106 Democrats (including the one Independence Party members that caucuses with the Dems) and just 44 Republicans. Speaker Sheldon Silver and his caucus can do anything they want. They better question is why haven't the State Senate Republicans, who have controlled that chamber for all but two years for much of the past half-century, insisted on changes to the school aid forumula? The Senate GOP (i.e. Marcellino, Flanagan, et al) have completely dropped the ball and turned its collective back on the taxpayers that elected these folks. Flanagan is the chairman of the Senate Education Committee and he has done absolutely nothing to make the funding formula fairer. NOTHING.
John E. Capobianco March 01, 2013 at 03:23 PM
WE don't know that yet. The Legislature is reacting to Cuomo's proposed budget. We shall see how much clout our representatives have in turning the tide.
montehall March 13, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Brian Curran was the mayor in Lynbrook....he's a joke!

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