“The facts laid out by the Alliance for a Quality Education provide further proof that Sue Serino has been flooding our mailboxes and TV sets with lies to benefit the downstate interests that are bankrolling her campaign. I am proud of the fact that I have been able to secure much needed additional funds for our schools, despite the fact that the Senate Republican majority has sought to shift our limited resources to private downstate charter schools. Advocating on behalf of the parents, students, educators and taxpayers of Dutchess and Putnam counties has been my top priority. I will continue my efforts to ensure the residents of the Hudson Valley receive the school funding and state resources they deserve.”
Upstate School Funding:
Setting the Record Straight
Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York
Release Analysis of State Republican Claims on School Aid
ALBANY (October 7, 2014) – With the 2014 electoral campaign in full swing, the Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action New York want to set the record straight as to which candidates are fighting for education.
Republican candidates are accusing upstate Democrats of “underfunding” upstate schools and delivering “fewer education dollars for our schools.”
But an examination of the budget proposal tells different story.
During the 2014 budget season, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed $608 million for schools. The Senate Republican-led majority proposed only $204 million more than the Governor for schools throughout the state. The Senate Democratic conference rejected the plan as inadequate. They fought to increase it by two and one half times to $512 million. Of the additional $308 million they won, $146 million went to schools in Upstate New York.
As a consequence, school funding totaled $1.12 billion, almost twice as much as the governor originally proposed.
“This report clears up any misrepresentations made by political campaigns about who actually fought for the most school aid in this year’s budget and who voted to shortchange our kids,” said Billy Easton, executive director of AQE. “The five upstate Senate Democrats who held out for more funding deserve credit for more than doubling what the Senate Republicans proposed. Their strength was essential to saving vital programs like Kindergarten, art and music.”
“Thanks to the Senate Democrats, our kids’ guidance counselors, libraries, arts and AP classes, and so many other programs were saved from the chopping block,” said Ivette Alfonso, President of Citizen Action of New York. “It’s important for people to know the facts about education funding, and unfortunately the Senate Republicans have decided to intentionally mislead New Yorkers about their record.”
A Schenectady parent Jamaica Miles pointed out the impacts of the Senate Democrats’ advocacy on behalf of upstate schools.
“Thanks to the Senate Democrats fighting for more funding than the Senate Republican Majority proposed we were able to save kindergarten in Schenectady,” she said. “It is terrible that the Senate Republicans were prepared to shortchange five year olds, it may be even worse that they are distorting their record to the voters.”
For the full report, click here.
Details on the money that has flooded into Sue Serino’s campaign from downstate special interests is available here: Crains New York
A Senate Republican spokesman was caught saying: “Sen. [Dean] Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) is the leader of the Senate right now, and he’s from Long Island. That’s significant. You’re talking about a party that sets the agenda toward Long Island when dividing resources.” The Island Now
The 2014 Senate Budget Resolution, drafted by the Senate Republicans, included over $200 million in state aid for downstate districts and nothing for Mid-Hudson and Upstate interests: 2014 GOP Budget Resolution
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