Curran: Protect Transportation For Catholic School Students

April 26, 2012

Assemblyman Brian Curran (Lynbrook-14th AD) is urging parents of Catholic school students, and supporters of private schools, to speak out against cutting the transportation provided by public schools to private school students.

“Like the public schools in the 14th Assembly District, Catholic schools are incredibly effective at teaching their students. Parents of these students pay both private tuition and provide funding for public schools through property taxes, and it would be deplorable to deny their children services which are provided to every student in the school district. Cutting transportation for a small population of Catholic school students would result in a negligible savings at the expense of depriving families of the right to choose the education they desire for their children,” said Curran.

Since the implementation of the two percent Property Tax Cap, school districts throughout the state have demanded fiscal relief from state and federal mandates that drain a district’s financial resources. Recently, there has been a call by some districts for the elimination or reduction of the transportation that school districts are required to provide to private and Catholic school students.

“While we understand the fiscal concerns of school districts, tuition and tax-paying families will simply not tolerate reducing the level of transportation services that school districts are required to provide,” said James Cultrara, Director of Education for the New York State Catholic Conference. “In the past, the state covered ninety percent of school transportation costs, and we urge lawmakers to restore that level of funding.”

“The state reimburses school districts for a portion of their transportation costs. The remaining cost is paid by the school district. Catholic school families receive very few public school services for their school taxes, yet save the state billions of dollars,” said Curran. “While I fully agree that the legislature and governor must provide mandate relief to school districts and local municipalities to help them deal with the tax cap, the elimination or reduction of transportation for private and Catholic school students is a non-starter and off the table. I will do everything in my power to fight such an initiative,” said Assemblyman Curran.

Parents of Catholic school students are encouraged to contact their state representative to ask them to protect transportation funding for Catholic and private school students, or call Assemblyman Curran’s office at 516-561-8216 with any local or state concerns.