State school aid formula hurts Rockland

June 6, 2020

The Journal News

By Mike Lawler
Special to the USA Today Network

This year, due to COVID-19, all registered voters in Rockland County will be mailed a ballot to vote in their local School District Elections, including on the 2020-2021 school budget. You must return your ballot to your respective school district by June 9th.

Before you vote, though, you should know, that Rockland County schools have been hurt year-after-year, by an unfair state school aid formula, that shortchanges our children and increases our property taxes.

We already pay the second highest property taxes in the nation and have a high cost of living, yet the school aid formula treats our labor costs the same as Poughkeepsie, as opposed to Long Island and New York City.

My opponent, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, hasn’t fixed that broken school aid formula during her 14 years in Albany.  Worse, just this year, she voted to cut state school aid to Suffern, Pearl River, and South Orangetown School Districts, while voting to create a $200 million dollar taxpayer funded campaign finance system.

It’s outrageous and has put our school districts and property taxpayers in the unenviable position of having to raise taxes, at a time when residents can least afford it, or make draconian budget cuts and consider layoffs to balance their budgets, in the event of a failed budget vote.

As your Assemblyman, I will fix this broken formula and ensure our public schools in Rockland County get their fair share of state school aid.

Mike Lawler is a candidate for the New York State Assembly seat for the 97th district. He lives in Pearl River.