Senator Jack M. Martins continued his tour of schools around the 7th Senate District at Manhasset High School where he met with Manhasset School Superintendent Charles Cardillo, Manhasset Board of Education President Cindy Cardinal and board members Patricia Aitken, Regina Rule and Craig Anderson.
Senator Martins discussed with Superintendent Cardillo and the board members such issues that will affect school districts such as the Governor’s budget and the proposed cuts in state aid to Long Island schools as well as the tax cap.
When the Governor made his budget proposal, it includes cuts in state aid that for some Long Island school reach the double digits level. Senator Martins said he is concerned that Long Island Schools are not receiving their equitable share of aid in the Governor’s budget.
“I am concerned that the Governor’s proposed cuts are falling disproportionately on our schools here. I will be fighting to make sure our schools don’t bear all of the burden for our fiscal condition. If cuts have to be made, they need to be equitable,” he said.
The Manhasset school officials also discussed the recently passed tax cap. The 2 percent tax cap was passed by the Senate and is supported by Governor Cuomo. It now awaits passage in the Assembly. While Senator Martins felt there was a need for a tax cap, he also feels that the cap has to be accompanied by mandate relief so that school districts can meet the cap.
On Thursday, Senator Martins, chairman of the standing Senate Local Governments Committee, and Senator John Flanagan, chairman of the standing Senate Education Committee, co-chaired a hearing on mandate relief. The hearing explored ways the state can relieve school districts and local governments from costly mandates.
“It’s an interesting time in Albany. There are topics now being discussed that weren’t discussed before,” said Senator Martins. “One of those topics is mandate relief. A tax cap must be accompanied by mandate relief. This is critical for our school districts and local governments as well as our taxpayers.”
After the discussion, Senator Martins met with Manhasset High School Principal Dr. Dean Schlanger and spoke to the members of the Student Senate. The students showed why they have an interest in government by asking Senator Martins questions regarding the state budget as well as the Governor’s proposed education cuts.
“It was an honor to visit Manhasset High School. It is another one of our outstanding schools in the 7th Senate District. The Manhasset School District is a high-achieving school district and it showed in the questions the students asked. I look forward to going back,” Senator Martins said.
Superintendent Cardillo said the school would love to have Senator Martins back to discuss the state budget again.