New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) today was joined by members of the Minority Conference, education advocates and school district superintendents to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release school aid executive budget estimates. School districts across the state are being forced to develop budget plans for next year without knowing how much money they will be allocated. School administrators annually face a March 1 deadline to submit spending estimates to the state comptroller in order to calculate the tax levy.
“What Gov. Cuomo is doing is an unprecedented and shortsighted maneuver to further his political agenda and it unfair to the children of New York,” Leader Kolb said. “The governor’s tactics prevent school districts from being able to accurately plan for the future and his heavy-handed approach flies in the face of good fiscal practice.”
Timothy G. Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association said, “School districts are putting their budgets together right now, but they’re missing one crucial piece of information – their projected state aid allocations. Even worse, according to the executive budget proposal, schools would not see any state aid increase in the 2015-16 school year unless the legislature agrees to all of the Governor’s education policy reform proposals. We urge the governor and budget division to fulfill their responsibility to schools and provide detailed school aid runs so that districts may properly develop their spending plans, engage their communities, and complete the important mission of educating students.”
Robert Horan, Superintendent of Schodack Central Schools said, “School districts across the state have been negatively impacted by Governor Cuomo’s decision to withhold school aid numbers. These numbers are needed so that we can adequately plan our school budgets for next year and inform parents of the academic and extracurricular programs we can offer. I encourage Governor Cuomo to release these important numbers to school districts, but urge going a step further: eliminate the unfair GEA so our schools can once again be fully funded. I thank Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb for taking the initiative to look out for school districts across New York State.”
The Assembly Minority Conference hosted 14 statewide forums in 2014 focused on discovering issues impacting education in New York. After hearing from hundreds of parents, students, educators and education experts, the Conference has proposed a number of education reforms. Instead of confusing district administrators by withholding aid projections, the governor should be focusing his efforts on considering the substantive legislative proposals we have developed.
“The hundreds of millions dollars the Governor is dangling over the head of school districts is needed to ensure all the state’s students are given the education they deserve. The Assembly Minority Conference believes that he should negotiate his education reforms in good faith, and not at the expense of our children’s well being,” Leader Kolb said. “When politicians play games with a child’s education they risk the future of all New Yorkers, and that is simply unacceptable.”