Ra Calls For Closer Look At Education Budget Proposals

February 16, 2011

Assemblyman Edward Ra is a panelist on the elementary- and secondary-education panel at the Capitol on Tuesday. In the forefront, Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy addresses Ra and other panelists on proposed school aid cuts in the executive budget.

Assemblyman Edward Ra (21st Assembly District) recently joined a bipartisan panel of lawmakers for a budget hearing at the Capitol. As a member on the Education committee, Ra participated in an elementary- and secondary-education panel. The panel heard testimony from Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy regarding the immediate effects of proposed education cuts on school districts. With public schools facing a 7.3 percent decrease in their general funding, Ra and other panel members pressed Duffy on why Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts would not be proportional to the traditional regional school aid funding.

“The governor’s proposed budget would negatively affect aid and support of our local schools,” said Ra. “We deserve our fair share of education funding, and I will advocate for nothing less. My focus is ensuring that every child receives a first-class education which prepares him or her to compete – and win – in a competitive 21st century marketplace.

“Of the governor’s proposed $2.8 billion cut to school aid, Long Island’s elementary and secondary schools would face 15 percent of this cut, but, historically, the cut should only be 13 percent. In contrast, New York City schools are proposed to only have 32 percent of the cut, but, historically, should have 38 percent of the cut. The executive budget proposals take away fairness that has been normally agreed upon by lawmakers. These cuts in aid are inequitable and unfair to the families and communities of Long Island.

“I will work with other lawmakers to ensure that our community schools receive their fair share of funding. It’s time Albany stops playing games with our children and their future.”