ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien and the superintendents of four schools districts gathered at his office to speak out on significant increases in school aid in this year’s state budget and the expected positive impact on local students.
“I fought hard to increase school aid because a quality education is the key to giving our young people the tools they need to succeed in the workplace and become the job creators in the future,” Sen. O’Brien said. “More state funding for schools also relieves the cost burden on local governments and reduces the need to raise property taxes, which are the biggest impediment to growing our middle class.
Senator O’Brien was joined by Superintendents Jeff Crane of West Irondequoit, Jon Hunter of Fairport and Kenneth Graham of Rush-Henrietta, along with Superintendent Gene Mancuso and Deputy Superintendent Phil Burrows of Honeoye Falls-Lima. Also present were Jody Siegle, Executive Director of the Monroe County School Boards Association, and Alan Shaffer, the assistant business administrator for East Irondequoit.
"In Fairport, our gap elimination adjustment shrank $518,437, which is equivalent to about an 0.8% reduction in our tax levy for the families of Fairport and Perinton. Thanks to Senator O'Brien's work, I am pleased to report that when compared to budgets of the past two years, the 2013-14 NYS budget is a better budget for the students and taxpayers of our region,” Hunter said. (The gap elimination adjustment are funds removed from education spending in 2010 to balance the state’s budget deficit that year.)
Mancuso said that his district appreciated that local legislators including Senator O'Brien were able to increase school aid in the budget.
“I am grateful that the legislature heard the concerns of schools across our region and brought funds back into our region without additional strings attached. In Honeoye Falls-Lima, our inclusive process for decision-making allows parents, students, teachers and building principals to make recommendations on how best to use every dollar we receive,” Mancuso said.
Siegel stressed that in addition to helping schools provide better educational outcomes, controlling property taxes also acts as a stimulus for community growth.
Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.
Thomas J. Morrisey
office: (585) 223-1800