ALBANY - The tug-of-war over state aid to schools between Long Island, the city and upstate is especially complicated during this year’s budget negotiations in Albany.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo budgeted a hefty 5 percent increase over last year, but only if legislators agree to his education reform programs, many of which are controversial.
If the reforms are not passed, Gov. Cuomo is proposing a modest increase in aid to schools. That has left school districts across the state completely in the dark about how much money they might get.
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School administrators, including Copiague Superintendent Charles Leunig, say the governor’s reasoning is not fair.
“There is frustration and anger. We're not able to carry out our responsibility in terms of building a budget,” said Leunig.
State legislators from Long Island know that school aid is critical to holding down property taxes. State Sen. John Flanagan, who heads the education committee, says Nassau and Suffolk will not get short-changed.
“At the end of the day, we not only need to, but we will put more money in,” said Flanagan.