Assemblywoman Lifton: Assembly Budget Invests in Education

Plan provides $790.5 million more for schools
March 14, 2005

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Tompkins/Cortland) announced the Assembly passed a budget resolution that provides a sound investment in our children’s future – increasing school aid by $790.5 million over last year (Resolution C322).

"The governor’s budget severely under-funds education – leaving school districts and property taxpayers to foot the bill for his wrong budget choices," Lifton said. "The Assembly’s budget plan ensures needed state resources and meaningful reforms, including establishing a foundation formula to more equitably distribute education funds. The Assembly delivers a comprehensive budget that will help provide a good education for every child in this state."

The Assembly’s budget provides more than $3 million more than the governor’s proposal for Tompkins and Cortland County school districts in the 125th Assembly District — specifically Dryden School District would receive $232,324 more than the governor’s proposal, Groton School District $176,873, Ithaca City School District $1,136,212, Lansing School District $134,650, Newfield School District $86,992, Trumansburg School District $226,908, Cortland City School District $439,017, McGraw School District $75,450, and Homer School District $590,382.

As the Assembly has done in each of the last 10 Pataki budgets, it rejects the governor’s education cuts – cuts that would be felt by both students and local taxpayers. Highlights include:

  • rejecting the governor’s BOCES cut, as well as the governor’s cuts to special education for handicapped children and other educational programs;
  • adding funding for high-need districts, minor maintenance, transportation services, teacher training programs and instructional materials;
  • fully funding education (LADDER) programs like universal pre-K and class-size reduction to last year’s levels; and
  • increasing funding for the Extended Day/School Violence Prevention Program by $1.5 million – restoring the governor’s veto of last year.

Lifton noted that to further improve public accountability, ensure better fiscal oversight and ultimately save tax dollars, the Assembly budget also provides nearly $3 million for school district audits to be conducted by the state Comptroller.

Rejecting the governor’s irresponsible budget

"Students and taxpayers would be negatively impacted by the governor’s inadequate budget. He is willing to gamble our children’s future away with a funding scheme using video lottery terminals. All of this while he attempts to hand out a tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers – those making over a half-million dollars a year. Tax breaks for the wealthy while shortchanging our schools is not acceptable," Lifton said. "The Assembly’s budget is a common sense approach that invests in our schools while helping ease the burden on taxpayers."