Written by Farmingdale Observer Editorial Staff Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
The Farmingdale School District’s Legislative Action Committee recently traveled to Albany to present the district’s legislative proposals for the 2014-2015 school year, which include a request for more state aid. Based on the preliminary state budget figures, the Farmingdale School District will receive $746,419 more than last year—an increase of 2.74 percent. However, school officials say it isn’t enough.
On Jan. 28, the Legislative Action Committee, which is comprised of students, teachers, administrators, community leaders and the district’s Board of Education, met with distinguished state officials—including state Senators John Flanagan and Kemp Hannon and
Assemblymen Steven Englebright, Chad Lupinacci, Thomas McKevitt, Michael Montesano, Joseph Saladino, Robert Sweeney and Fred Thiele—to urge the state remove the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which reduced $1 billion in state aid funding to Long Island schools over the last three years. Committee members also called for replacement of the foundation formula, which is currently used to determine how much state aid is allocated to a school district, but does not take into account the high cost of living on Long Island.
“The goal of Farmingdale’s Legislative Action Committee is to advocate for the educational needs that our students deserve in order to reach their full potential,” said Farmingdale Schools Superintendent John Lorentz. “The [committee’s] annual trip to Albany is a terrific opportunity, especially for our students, to meet with our elected officials to discuss state aid necessary to maintain our vital programs.”
During their trip to Albany, the committee also discussed the state property tax cap, which Lorentz previously told the Farmingdale Observer could leave the district with some tough decisions in the year ahead. School officials added that being held to the state tax levy cap could potentially result in an annual loss of programs and services to students without mandate relief or additional state funding.