Local educators react to plan, which avoids cuts to school aid
Hauppauge, NY – Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) announced the passage of a major deficit reduction plan that will close a $1.6 billion gap in the 2008-2009 state budget. The plan adopted by the senate was significantly different than the deep cuts that were originally sought by Governor Paterson, which included major reductions in education funding.
“I am pleased to announce the passage of a pragmatic deficit reduction plan that closes a gaping hole in our state budget and simultaneously protects important institutions such as schools and colleges,” said Foley, who has made education funding his number one priority since taking office.
As the only majority member from Suffolk County to serve on the education committee, Foley has fought hard to preserve education funding and ensure that our schools and colleges are not harmed as part of the mid-year budget deliberations. The deficit reduction plan, which Foley helped pass, did just that.
“Under this deficit reduction plan, schools on Long Island will not face any decreases in funding, despite the current economic crisis,” said Foley, who has been widely praised for his proactive efforts in representing the interests of Suffolk County’s working families.
"Since budget deliberations began, Brian Foley has put Long Island's priorities front and center,” said Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. “For instance, he advocated against mid-year cuts to education and through our negotiations, we were able to avoid such action in this deficit reduction plan. There is a great deal of work ahead of us concerning next year's budget, and Brian has taken his seat at the table and is looking out for the residents of Suffolk and Nassau Counties."
“I am grateful to Sen. Foley for fighting for our education aid and making sure the deficit reduction plan doesn’t take away money from Long Island schools,” said Charles Murphy, Superintendent of the Sachem School District. “I am eager to continue working with Sen. Foley as he uses his position on the senate education committee to protect our education aid and deliver resources for school districts throughout Long Island.”
John Belmonte, Assistant Superintendent for the Sayville School District, lauded the plan, saying, “It’s a wonderful thing that the deficit reduction plan did not contain any education cuts. I look forward to partnering with Sen. Foley as he continues to make sure Long Island’s fair share of education aid is protected.”
“We’re very pleased that closing this year’s deficit did not have any effect on our schools,” said Ralph Ferrie, Superintendent of the Three Village School District. “I look forward to working with the senate to make sure our schools have the resources they need.”
In addition to being the only majority member from Suffolk County on the education committee, Sen. Foley serves on the higher education committee and was recently appointed as chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee.
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