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Last year, more than 1,500 people from across the Island joined together to fight for their fair share of aid.

State legislators, taxpayers, students, educators, small business owners, and labor leaders alike are invited to an education and taxpayer rally to fight against Governor Paterson's proposed $147 million education aid cuts to Long Island's schools.

"Allowing Governor Paterson to cut $147 million from Long Island's schools would compromise the quality of our children's education and lead to massive school tax increases for homeowners and small businesses. Each and every Long Islander is affected by these cuts, and I urge everyone to join us in fighting these harmful education aid cuts," said Senator Charles J. Fuschillo.

The rally will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to noon at Ellsworth Allen Park, which is located on Motor Avenue in Farmingdale.

Senator Kemp Hannon added he thinks it's just not feasible to gut school funding on Long Island.

"Residents are losing their jobs, home values are down and this is not the time to take away this money - which will result in school tax increases across the board come May," he said. "The effect of this is compounded since the budget proposes to eliminate STAR Rebate checks - a de facto tax increase on Long Island homeowners. The executive branch pledged to do something about property taxes on Long Island. Last year, we passed a tax cap. Since then, there has been no movement on the issue. As I have said time and again, you cannot balance the budget on the backs of Long Islanders."

Senator Fuschillo noted that the success of a similar rally last year proved critical in helping defeat cuts to Long Island's share of state education aid proposed by then-Governor Eliot Spitzer.

"Last year, over 1,500 people from across the Island joined together to fight for our fair share and it worked. This year, with homeowners already overtaxed and feeling the strain of a bad economy, we need to fight once again to protect our students and taxpayers," Senator Fuschillo added.

Residents can get additional information about the rally by calling Senator Fuschillo's office at 516-882-0630 or visiting his website, www.senatorfuschillo.com.


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