Friday, March 10, 2006

If You Want School Aid Equity, Write A Letter

School Boards, Suozzi To Guv And Legislature: "We Write To Make It Right!"

Suozzi, school officials complain about state aid inequity

MINEOLA, N.Y. Dozens of school board members joined Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi today in urging the state Legislature to change the formulas for how state school aid is distributed.

Suozzi, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor as a reformer, says county taxpayers are getting a raw deal when it comes to school aid.

He says Nassau County has 7.45 percent of the students in the state, but it receives only 3.89 percent of total state aid for schools.

In a letters to Governor Pataki and state legislators, Suozzi and the school board members claim that Nassau County school districts should be receiving approximately 600 million dollars more.

He says the state school aid formula fails to take into account "regional cost factors" on Long Island and that people who bought their houses years ago and are "house rich" but "income poor" and cannot afford the school tax burden.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press.
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Click HERE to see the News12 report. [Watch the video.]
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The Long Island Association's Mitch Pally says that the State's purported $4 billion surplus should be earmarked for education, with half of that to go to Long Island's schools.

State Senator Dean Skelos, the Senate's Deputy Majority leader and head of the Long Island delegation, says Suozzi is simply making "political hay" in his run for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

"Political hay?" Maybe so. That's what politicians -- from Skelos to Suozzi -- do.

But hay is for horses, Dean. It is obvious to everyone that Long Island's school districts aren't getting anything close to their fair share of the State Aid pie. Go back to Albany, on behalf of Long Island's taxpayers, and tell your colleagues to "show Long Island the money!"

Meanwhile, kudos to Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. When was the last time that anyone got the leaders of 40 Nassau school districts together on the State Aid issue, at the same place, at the same time, and, literally, on the same page? BRAVO!
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A copy of the Letter to the Legislature will be posted as soon as it is made available for publication. More to follow. . .

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