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HELP YOUR SCHOOL!! Get Involved! Write Your Legislator

Let’s take the Rye Central School, for example.

On their website you can read:

The City of Rye is located in southern Westchester County, New York, on the shore of Long Island Sound, 25 miles from New York City. Approximately 15,000 residents enjoy 5.5 miles of water vistas,nature and wildlife preserves, and open spaces, in addition to an active downtown, a municipal golf club, walking trails and history dating back to the 1600s.

Rye’s three elementary schools are all New York State Schools of Excellence and National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. Elementary academics stress the mastery of language arts, reading, social studies, science, mathematics, and creative and critical thinking skills. Writing journals and portfolios are maintained by all students. Art, computer, music, library skills, and physical education are taught at all grade levels. Spanish instruction begins in first grade. Instrumental music instruction begins at Grade 4.

Our middle school, also a National School of Excellence, serves students Grades 6-8 who learn from teacher teams in the core academic areas. Teaching blocks include interdisciplinary studies. Students may continue their study in Spanish or elect to take Latin, French or Mandarin beginning in 6th Grade.

The high school, ranked 59th out of more than 21,000 high schools in the country as measured by U.S. News & World Report, and consistently ranked by Newsweek among the top 100 high schools nationwide, serves students in Grades 9-12 with a full range of curriculum opportunities at Regents, honors, and Advanced Placement levels. Courses in foreign languages, the performing arts, instrumental, vocal and digital music, career education, television, business, health, computer, home economics, technology and physical education augment core academics. A cable television station is housed at the high school and serves as a classroom for video journalism, video production and performing arts video instruction. A writing mentor program provides one-on-one assistance for students in Grades 9 - 11. An off-campus alternative high school serves the needs of those students who benefit best from non-traditional educational approaches. An extensive extracurricular program, which includes service activities, performing arts, athletics, and student publications, is available at all grade levels. A model school/community service program is mandatory at the high school.

 It’s nice that students who happen to live in Rye enjoy all of these programs. What isn’t nice is that Rye Central School lost $174/per pupil in 2011-12 NYS aid. LaFayette Central School lost $1,907/per pupil. In New York State there are truly the haves and have-nots. We must let our legislators know that we are no longer going to sit idly by and let this continue to happen. Please contact them and let them know that the state aid formula is not working for LaFayette. You can find contact information for your State Senator and State Assemblyperson on our website, lafayetteschools.org.

Peter Tigh,School Superintendent

Contact Information: Senator John A. DeFrancisco

Albany Office
416 Capitol
Albany, NY 12247
We really do need your help. Please write a letter. Get your neighbor to write a letter. Ask your friends to write a letter. Here's a SAMPLE LETTER for you to use. Of course, you are encouraged to personalize it, but if you are at a loss for what to say, we have some suggestions.  Sample letter.doc

Phone: (518) 455-3511

District Office
333 East Washington Street 800 State Office Building
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 428-7632

Email address:jdefranc@nysenate.gov
(If the above link doesn't open an email form on your computer, just copy the email address, open your email and paste the address into the 'send to' box.)


Contact Information: Assemblymember Don Miller

District Office
5711 South Bay Road Cicero, NY 13039 315-452-1115

Albany Office
Room 534 Legislative Office Building Albany, NY 12248 518-455-4505

Email address:millerdr@assembly.state.ny.us
(If the above link doesn't open an email form on your computer, just copy the email address, open your email and paste the address into the 'send to' box.)


Contact Information: Governor Cuomo

(518) 474-8390

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Strategies when talking to Senator DeFrancisco or Assemblyperson Miller or the media:

 

          Mandate Relief – where is it?  We welcome reform to the system.  Choose items you feel are appropriate- Senators and assembly members need to reform mandated and unfunded mandated expenses, pensions, practice of LIFO (last in first out), health care contributions, millionaires tax…  but first, significant portions of the inequitable cuts must be restored.

          Reserves are running out in districts

          Cuts are inevitable, but cuts must not continue to hurt poorer, low wealth districts more than wealthier districts that CHOOSE to offer more “extras”

          Senators ARE the solution and we need to challenge OUR representatives to do something for US – we cannot just list problems, we need to say – the distribution formula is not fair, equitable, nor predictable – what are You, Senator, going to do to fix this?

          Don’t fall for the “wealthy Long Island pays higher taxes and needs help”.  Fact: If wealthy districts on Long Island want to pay for non-mandated courses, activities, or classes for students above and beyond what is required, that is their CHOICE to pay the higher taxes that goes along with them.  Any fiscal stress experienced by Long Island taxpayers in wealthy districts is a direct result of their choice of school offerings- they are often beyond anything we offer.

          The Statewide School Finance Consortium, http://www.statewideonline.org , has provided a sample method “restoration of aid to high need districts” that would go to districts with a CWR of less than 1.25

          Be Direct – move legislators to action.

          Get a commitment to help us; we are their constituents and have sacrificed long enough!

 


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Last updated on 3/7/2012
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