Bipartisan Senate & Assembly Panel Charged With Negotiating Final Education Budget
Queens, NY, March 16, 2012 -- NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) has been appointed to serve as the representative of the Senate Democratic Conference for the New York State Legislative Conference Committee on Education – the bipartisan Senate and Assembly panel responsible for negotiating a final 2012-2013 budget agreement on funding for New York’s schools and other educational issues.
Already a member of the State Senate Standing Committee on Education, Addabbo said, “I am honored to serve as a member of this additional committee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from both houses and from both sides of the aisle to negotiate a fair, responsible education package for the State Budget that will provide all of our schoolchildren with the opportunity to succeed academically.”
The Legislative Conference Committee on Education will review the Senate and Assembly budget resolutions recently passed by the two houses, and come to a final agreement on the Legislature’s vision for education. The agreement reached by the Conference Committee will be included in the final budget document scheduled to be approved by the Senate and Assembly by the April 1st deadline. From there, the Legislature’s State Budget plan goes to Governor Cuomo for his consideration.
The Legislative Conference Committee on Education held its first meeting in Albany on March 14 and Addabbo notes, “I think we are making good progress on negotiating an education package that will assist our schoolchildren while recognizing the need to spend our education dollars fairly, wisely and with accountability. We are well on our way to enacting a responsible, responsive, on-time State Budget.”
Among the educational issues Addabbo cited at the committee meeting that he wanted to work on during budget negotiations, are the State’s obligation to fairly compensate New York City schools as part of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court decision and an increase in library funding, which was agreed to by both the Senate and Assembly budget proposals. Other topics the senator said he wanted to highlight were funding for Non-Public School Aid, improved bus transportation for students and the monies for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.
A major issue is overall funding for local schools. While there is approximately a 4% increase in state spending for education in the budget, funds are distributed by the local municipalities. While the governor’s proposal could result in less localized funds, both the Senate and Assembly have proposed to redirect the budget funds toward more direct school aid for local schools.
“In making decisions about the education of our children, we are almost literally holding their future and the future of our city and state in our hands. I take my responsibility on this committee very seriously,” Addabbo concluded.