March 24, 2015
By Stephanie West
Mineloa, NY – Opponents of Governor Andrew Cuomo's education agenda rallied outside the Nassau Council Legislative Office last weekend to protest chronic underfunding and the chief executive's continued emphasis on high stakes testing and state takeovers of struggling local schools.
"The Assembly's budget is the only budget on the table that gives students and teachers the support they need for truly great schools,” Assembly Member Todd Kaminsky [D-Long Beach] said. “The Senate must step up to the plate and match the Assembly's commitment to high-quality public education. Students and teachers need support for truly great schools, and New York State has let them down for far too long.”
Together, Cuomo and leaders in the state legislature have agreed to increase school aid by at least $1.4 billion in this year’s budget. But that's substantially less than either the $1.8 billion proposed in the Assembly’s budget bill, or the $2 billion recommended by the New York State Board of Regents. At this weekend's rally, objecting assembly members, including Steven Englebright, Al Graf, Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Todd Kaminsky, Charles Lavine, David McDonough, Tom McKevitt, Ed Ra, Joseph Saladino, Michelle Schimel and Michaelle Solages, called for the $1.4 billion to be treated merely as a the floor, because it is not enough to sufficiently restore many years of lost funding.