Ramos to Gov: Don’t Play Games with School Money

August 20, 2003

Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) took the governor to task today for failing to release funding on which schools across the state are relying.

“This year, the Legislature crafted a bipartisan budget agreement that spared our schools from the worst of the governor’s shortsighted cuts,” Ramos said. “Still, some districts’ school aid totals were harder hit than others, so the state budget set aside a pool of grant money to balance out inequities. The governor is effectively ensuring that the worst-off school districts stay that way, and that’s deplorable.”

Ramos said that two school districts that he represents – the Islip and Central Islip Union Free School Districts – desperately need this grant money in order to rehire teachers, stabilize property taxes and finalize plans for the rapidly approaching school year.

Ramos also noted that not every school district in New York is facing the same difficulties obtaining their rightful appropriations. According to press reports, schools in the district of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno have received discretionary education grants already, making it seem that the governor is picking and choosing which grants to release.

“The governor is taking our state’s already overburdened school system and bringing it right to the edge,” Ramos said. “I urge the governor to immediately release the school grant money, and to stop playing games with our kids and our schools.”