RELEASE: AQE’s Reaction to 96% Approval on School Budgets
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
For info: Nikki Jones, Communications Director: 518-432-5315
AQE’S REACTION TO 96% APPROVAL RATE FOR
SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTES
Statement of Nikki Jones, AQE Communications Director
Last night, many voters exercised a right to protect public schools by passing local budgets. A 96% approval rate for school budgets is more than enough proof that New Yorkers, across the state, demand quality public schools. Unfortunately, voters affirmation of budgets will not undo the fact that the recent policies of Albany are undermining the quality of education for an entire generation. Albany has skirted its Constitutional obligation to provide every public school student a ‘sound, basic education’ and has passed the buck off to local districts.
Districts seeking to override the cap on tax levies found it tougher to do so due to an undemocratic provision that allows a minority of voters to mute the voice of the majority. For example, in New Paltz, the school budget was defeated even with a majority of voters voting to pass the budget by a margin of 59.3% to only 40.7%.
In Middletown, where a substantial number of staff positions and programs were eliminated, 76% of voters adopted a resolution demanding that the state change the school funding system to ensure all districts, particularly poor and high needs districts, receive adequate funding. Albany cannot continue to pass of its responsibility for providing nearly 3 million public school children access to a quality education. Every student deserves nothing less than the best.