Friday, 14 February 2014 10:20
Hundreds of educators, community leaders, distinguished New York State elected officials and parents attended the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District’s Legislative Breakfast held on Saturday, Feb. 1. The event was organized by the PTA, teachers and administrators’ unions of the Syosset and Plainview-Old Bethpage School Districts. The open forum focused on several issues impacting the ability of districts on Long Island to sustain a high quality of education that has become the standard for the region. Issues highlighted include the excessive use of testing and its impact on students as well as the reduction in state aid.
“It is important for the District to host these forums for our elected officials and leaders to openly discuss with the community the issues that affect our schools, and it is even more vital that we collaborate together and strongly advocate for viable and effective solutions,” said Dr. Lorna Lewis, Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Superintendent of Schools. “The District continues to receive less than its fair share of state aid. With the current 2 percent tax cap on our levy it makes it difficult to propose a budget that preserves the distinguishing features of our district that our community has come to expect from us.”Lewis highlighted that the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) has reduced state aid to school districts throughout the region by approximately $1 billion, and the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School has lost more than $6.5 million during that span. Lewis also proposed to modify the formula for state aid to include the regional cost factor that reflects Long Island’s high cost of living.
Elected officials including U.S. Congressman Steve Israel, state Senator Carl Marcellino, state Senator John J. Flanagan and Assemblyman Charles Lavine also spoke on the matters of state aid, the tax cap, the current implementation of the Common Core Curriculum in schools and the impacts of standardized testing.
Attendees also recognized Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District fourth grade student Mia Ehrlich for her courageous speech on the difficulties of standardized testing.