I received a taxpayer-funded mailer from state Sen. Sue Serino, who represents Beacon and Philipstown, with the deliberately misleading claim that she “fought to deliver a record” amount of aid for education.
In fact, she is part of the Republican senate majority that votes — along with Senate Democrats who largely support Republican initiatives — to force school districts to spend state aid on tuition payments to privately run charter schools.
The Foundation Aid formula was designed in 2007 to ensure that our public schools receive the funding necessary to provide all students, including those with special needs or who hail from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, with a sound, basic education. Soon after the formula was approved, the state began to shortchange Foundation Aid, now amounting to billions of dollars across the state.
In February, despite the pleas of her constituents, Sen. Serino voted to approve a budget that ignores the $4.3 billion New York State continues to owe schools. If Sen. Serino is interested in “delivering for schools,” and not just siphoning taxpayer dollars to New York City private charter schools (and deceptive mailers), she must truly commit herself to getting our schools the full amount of Foundation Aid they are owed.
Julie Shiroishi, Beacon