Senator Steve Rhoads speaking at the event (Office of Senator Steve Rhoads)

Nassau County Officials Rally To Oppose Cuts To Foundation Aid

Nassau County school districts faced with over $23 million in proposed cuts
On February 1, New York State Senator Steve Rhoads along with colleagues Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, Senator Jack Martins, Senator Alexis Weik and Assembly Members Ari Brown and Brian Curran, called on Governor Hochul to reverse the devastating cuts to schools that were included in her budget proposal. The elimination of the save harmless provision and the changes in the inflation calculation for Foundation Aid, the state contribution to schools, mean that many school districts in Nassau County are impacted, including Port Washington, Great Neck, Manhasset, Roslyn, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Jericho, Oyster Bay and Locust Valley.

“The safety, success, and well-being of our students should always be a top priority. The Governor’s proposed changes in education funding would cut over $4 million in school aid – in just my Senate District alone. We must empower our teachers and students to be their best and chart our students on a course for a lifetime of success. As the budget process continues, I remain undeterred and ready to fight for our teachers, schools, and families to ensure our children get the quality education they deserve,” said Senator Steve Rhoads, SD 5.
“The Governor’s budget is yet another example of the complete disregard for our Nassau families and taxpayers. They are stripping millions of dollars from our Nassau school districts. My district alone is getting hit with more than $11 million in school aid cuts (see attached). Nassau taxpayers are tired of misplaced priorities from Albany’s One-Party Rule, and I will continue to fight to get Nassau school districts the funding they deserve, ” said Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitpatrick, SD 9.
“Governor Hochul’s proposed education budget cuts are nothing less than an attack on New York’s suburban school districts, and she will deprive our schoolchildren of the resources they deserve. This means that millions of more dollars will be thrown onto the backs of our taxpayers. Enough is enough! The State has an absolute obligation to fund our schools. Today, we stand in solidarity with our schools, teachers, and especially parents and children in saying “No!”. Our first priority has always been and will remain our children and we are completely committed to fighting for them,” said Senator Jack Martins, SD 7.
“The Governor’s budget proposal shorts our education foundation aid by $420 million. Fifty-six schools on Long Island are being shorted by staggering amounts, leaving them with the uncertainty of how to maintain teachers and programs. The Governor and the Democrat majority need to make our schools, our students, teachers and programs a priority by reallocating our $2.4 billion tax dollars where it belongs,” said Senator Alexis Weik, SD 8th.
“There is a strong correlation between adequate funding and student achievement. Decreased funding could lead to lower academic performance and graduation rates, and will widen achievement gaps among student populations. Students from low-income backgrounds will certainly be disproportionately affected as they rely more heavily on school resources for academic support and enrichment opportunities. Additionally, these significant cuts will almost certainly lead to salary freezes, reduced benefits, and increased workloads for educators, which will affect morale and may also hinder teacher retention and recruitment efforts, exacerbating staffing shortages and further compromising the quality of education.
“The loss of 4.3 million in foundation aid in a single year is devastating for our district, particularly since the cut comes without warning or preparation. No district can absorb that level of loss without cuts to programs, which ultimately affect our students, 30 percent of whom live below State poverty thresholds. We urge our State legislators to seek a reprieve so that we can maintain our student programs, particularly as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” said Dr. Jennifer Gallagher, Superintendent of the Long Beach City School District.
Senator Rhoads added, “As your State Senator, I understand how important public education is to the life of a community. I strongly oppose these cuts and will fight to ensure all schools get their fair share of education funding in this year’s state budget.”

Senate districts facing school aid cuts
Senate District 9 $11,158,221
Senate District 7 $5,202,205
Senate District 5 $4,366,601
Senate District 8 $17,305,533
—Submitted by the office of Senator Steve Rhoads with additional information by Amanda Olsen

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