The Amherst Board of Education supports the following legislative priorities:
Establish Adequate and Equitable Funding
While the Executive Budget proposal includes an overall increase in school aid of $2.1 billion, it reduces the state's responsibility by approximately $1.7 billion by relying heavily on federal funds. Federal Stimulus Funds for Education are being diverted back to NYS to help close the state’s budget gap, but what happens next year when the federal allocations are gone? The state will still have a budget gap.
We request to:
- Decrease the over-reliance on federal funds.
- Reject attempts to consolidate and eliminate expense-based and categorical aids.
- Expand proposal to reimburse certain transportation expense during the pandemic.
- Support proposal to aid costs to deliver student meals, instructional materials and provide Wi-Fi. Fund those costs in 2020-2021, not only Spring 2020. Reimburse other ‘stand-by’ transportation during the entirety of the pandemic.
- Reject attempts to continue to shift certain CSE special education costs from the state to school districts.
- Review/repair of the Foundation Aid formula to include adjustments on weightings used for high-need students, updates to regional cost index and improvement of student poverty data collection methods.
- Address neglected areas such as prior year aid claims which can take up to 15 years for a district to receive state aid.
Property Tax Cap Amendments
Enact at least temporary adjustments to the property tax cap. The property tax cap allows for tax growth of 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.
We request to:
- Make allowable growth factor a minimum of 2%.
- Prohibit negative tax caps.
Student Health and Safety
Providing students with a safe and secure learning environment which adequately supports their physical and mental health needs is a top priority for many districts. We request to:
- Make available flexible grant funding to support development and implementation of school safety programs.
- Allow Boards of Education to determine whether or not school district buildings are used as polling places.
- Adequately fund programs that support students' physical and mental health including dedicated funding for mental health.
How can you help? Write and Call Your Representatives Now!
New York's public schools deserve to be adequately funded so that every child can have the world-class education that they need to succeed in life after high school.
As supporters of education in Western New York, we call on you to invest in our children's future and restore public education funding in New York State. Change doesn’t happen by accident. Only by communicating effectively with our decision makers can we address the funding deficiencies in New York’s public education system.
Today, call, email or mail the three governmental representatives listed below who will be involved in important budget decisions over the next two months and share the following message.
"I am calling on behalf of the Amherst Central School District and would like to request that education be one of your priorities during the upcoming budget deliberations. New York State should decrease the over-reliance on federal funds and reject attempts to consolidate and eliminate expense-based and categorical aids. Thank you, for your time and consideration."
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Phone: Executive Chambers (518) 474-8390
Fax: (518) 474-1513
Form to contact Gov. Hochul
Sen. Rath's Albany Address:
188 State Street Room 513, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3161
Fax: (518) 426-6963
Assemblymember McMahon's Albany Address:
Albany, NY 12248
Thank you for your continued support of public education!