Senator Craig M. Johnson has been meeting with Paterson administration officials to advocate for more school aid in the 08-09 budget for the 7th Senate District.
"Correcting the disastrous effects that the previous administration's budget proposal would have on Long Island schools, on our children's education, and – ultimately – on taxpayers, is my top priority," Senator Johnson said.
Under the governor's proposed budget, Long Island's portion of new school aid would decrease by nearly 40 percent, a number that included substantial cuts in funding for schools within the 7th Senate District.
"It is imperative that our schools continue to receive its fair share of state funding. Governor Paterson is a product of Long Island schools. I'm a product of Long Island schools. And I want my two sons, as well as every child in Long Island, to have access to the same high quality education that we had," Johnson said.
The meetings began during the previous governor's administration and continued after Governor Paterson was sworn in.
Johnson conducted a similar round of budget talks with former Gov. Spitzer's budget team last year. As a result, the 16 school districts in the 7th Senate District received a record 19.27 percent (or $25 million) in additional school aid. This was the largest percentage increase of any Senate District on Long Island.