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School Board Contacts Legislators Over GC’s Low State Aid Numbers

At the most recent Garden City School Board meeting, School Board President Colleen Foley announced that with the help of Trustee Angela Heineman, the board drafted a letter that was sent to local legislators Senator Kemp Hannon, and Assemblymen Edward Ra and Thomas McKevitt requesting that Garden City’s state aid be increased to equal that of comparative districts.

Trustee Tom Pinou, read the letter to the audience stating that Garden City schools (like many schools on Long Island) rank among the best in the nation. “In order to preserve and continuously improve the educational programs that are not only valued by the community, but also used as models for other districts, our fellow residents have supported school budget increases to make up for shortfalls in state funding,” said Pinou.

Since 2007, Garden City’s state aid allocation has been reduced by $1,249,453 or 21 percent. “Despite the significant contribution of our residents to the NYS tax revenue, the Garden City School district receives only $4.4 million or 4.4 percent of its budget from state aid sources.”

Due to higher regional costs in the Long Island area, this means that one dollar of state aid purchases only 65 cents worth of goods and services. “These factors render the current allocation of state aid patently unfair,” Pinou added.

The letter requests that legislators address deficiencies in the foundation formula that deny high performing, high tax districts like Garden City its “fair share” of state aid.

“Per seethroughny.net, Garden City’s state aid per pupil ($1,371) is not only substantially less than the New York State average (approximately $4,300), but also less than all of our comparator districts in Nassau County,” according to the district.

To read the full letter written by the board of education, see the Garden City School District’s Question of the Week in this edition of Garden City Life.