The Amherst Board of Education supports the following legislative priorities:
Establish Adequate and Equitable Funding
The Executive Budget calls for $956 million school aid increase which is $1 billion less than the amount proposed by NYSSBA, the Board of Regents and the Educational Conference Board. We request:
- 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.
- Real phase-in of the formula.
- Reduce the reliance on state "set-asides" or restricted use of state funding.
- 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
The property tax cap allows for tax growth of 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The executive proposal would make the cap permanent, which is set to expire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. We request to:
- Make allowable growth factor a minimum of 2%.
- Count BOCES capital costs in the Capital Exclusion.
- Prohibit negative tax caps.
- Reform the tax cap override proccess.
- Account for enrollment growth in the calculation.
Student Health and Safety
Providing students with a safe and secure learning environment which adequately supports their physical and mental health neeeds 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!
Simply put, New York State's public schools still suffer from the withholding of approximately $4 billion in state aid since approximately 2008. 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.
With that background, 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 (or email) the three governmental representatives listed below who will be involved in important budget decisions over the next two months and share the message below.
"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 review and repair the Foundation Aid formula to develop a real phase-in plan of the formula to achieve equity, adequacy and predicatability for our school district. Thank you, for your time and consideration."
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Albany, New York 12224
Phone: Executive Chambers (518) 474-8390
Fax: (518) 474-1513
Form to contact Gov. Cuomo (https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form)
Status/Bills Awaiting Governor’s signature (518) 474-7182
Senator Mike Ranzenhofer
8203 Main Street, Suite 4
Williamsville, NY 14221
Phone: 631-8695 Fax: 634-4321
Email Sen. Ranzenhofer (email@example.com)
Sen. Ranzenhofer's Albany Address:
188 State Street Room 513, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3161
Fax: (518) 426-6963
Assemblymember Karen McMahon
5500 Main St., Suite 216
Williamsville, NY 14221
Email Assemblymember McMahon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assemblymember McMahon's Albany Address:
Albany, NY 12248
Thank you for your continued support of public education!