BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, and 82 of his colleagues in the State Legislature today called for substantial new investment in schools across the state. In outlining their request, Kennedy and his fellow lawmakers detailed the need for about $1.9 billion in education funding to be allocated through an equitable formula for schools statewide. The lawmakers say this $1.9 billion in additional state aid is necessary overcome cuts from previous years and ensure students are properly prepared for global economy.
Senator Kennedy’s focus has not only been to push for a significant boost in state aid, but also to ensure that education funding is distributed equitably among school districts, especially those in Western New York. Kennedy reiterated his argument today that schools in Buffalo and Western New York require a higher level of state aid to ensure local schools have the resources necessary to compete with their peers in areas with higher wealth and higher property values.
“We remain steadfast in our efforts to fight for students in Buffalo and Western New York, and we are committed to ensuring they have equal access to educational opportunities,” said Senator Kennedy. “I believe that starts by making sure schools locally have the resources they need to provide a robust educational program to their students. Every student, regardless of their zip code, deserves a world-class education, and every student should receive a fair share of support from the state.
“In his State of the State, Governor Cuomo very astutely declared that the ‘best long-term economic development strategy is to have the best education system in the world.’ I couldn’t agree more. Investing in our children and their education is a direct investment in the future strength of our state and our economy. As a state, we must ensure our schools have the resources they need to prepare our children for college and careers.”
When Senator Kennedy signed on to the letter, it added regional balance to the effort and demonstrated the urgent need to increase funding for schools in Western New York. In total, over 80 state lawmakers added their names to the letter.
In the letter, the lawmakers write, “We are grateful for the funding increases included in the past two budgets, but they have not kept up with rising costs... We know you understand the need for the Empire State to invest adequately in our children’s future, and how important it is to improve schools and reduce the achievement gap that exists across this state, in rural communities, suburban areas, and cities large and small."
The full text of the letter can be viewed at http://www.aqeny.org/ny-legislators-education-funding-letter-to-gov-cuomo/.
Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 63rd District, which is comprised of the town of Cheektowaga, the city of Lackawanna and nearly all of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.