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Funding Our Children's Future

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Funding Our Children's Future

March 10, 2010 - 16:07
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Representing Bronx and Westchester Counties

From the Desk of State Senator Jeff Klein…

Funding Our Children’s Future

Dear Westchester Residents:

Ensuring that all children in New York State have access to a high quality education has always a top priority for me, regardless of our state’s budgetary situation. Providing vital and necessary funding to our public schools is our responsibility. At the same time, we cannot ignore the needs of the more than half a million children who attend New York’s religious and independent schools. These schools provide a valuable and vibrant education for students and do so at a considerable savings to New Yorkers’ hard earned tax dollars.

New York’s religious and independent schools have historically gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to state funding. For example, the Archdiocese of New York receives about $325 in state funds per student compared to nearly $17,000 paid per public school student. Now, these schools are facing an even more dire situation as a result of the payroll tax on employers that the MTA instituted last year to solve its budgetary crisis. While public schools are reimbursed for the full cost of this tax, religious and independent schools are not, creating a gap for them of nearly six million dollars. This added expense could force many of these schools to increase tuition rates or ultimately have to shut down - pricing countless New Yorkers out of having choice in an education for their children.

Children and parents should not suffer because they choose to send their child to a religious or independent school - the rights and needs of a student at one of these schools should be treated as equally as those of a child who attends public school. Last year, I introduced legislation to remedy this problem. Specifically, my legislation would require the state to reimburse independent and religious schools for the full cost of the MTA’s payroll tax. This would provide vital funding for these schools, and help to ensure that parents continue to have access to this affordable, high-quality education alternative.

Last week, I met with the head of Westchester and Putnam counties’ Catholic schools to discuss my legislation and how it would help Westchester’s religious and independent schools. These schools enrich our communities and expand opportunities for children, and I will continue to work hard to ensure they receive the same reimbursement public schools benefit from.

Jeff Klein
Deputy Majority Leader
New York State Senate
34th District
From the Desk of State Senator Jeff Klein…

There is 1 Comment

Hey Senator, how about going to bat for New Rochelle and get our school aid back? What are you doing to lower the cost of state government? How about a pledge of NO new taxes or fees, especially the gross receipts tax on our utility bills? Are you doing anything to make sure our water and sewer bills don't go through the roof?

If you think Albany's budget is bad, you should know most of our household budgets are worse off and we can't stand our state government taxing us anymore.

These are the issues I want to hear about. The other stuff you post hear is great but its meaningless if you can't balance the budget without further taxing us to death. I'd like to hear about some cuts to the state work force. How about we go from 200,000 employees to 150,000 employess? I bet that'd save some money.

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