Education funding fight spurs walk to Albany

A group of Long Islanders say they are shining a spotlight on an education funding fight by participating in a 150-mile walk from New York

A group of Long Islanders say they are shining a spotlight on an education funding fight by participating in a 150-mile walk from New York City to the state Capitol.

A group of Long Islanders say they are shining a spotlight on an education funding fight by participating in a 150-mile walk from New York City to the state Capitol. (10/1/16)

BRENTWOOD - A group of Long Islanders say they are shining a spotlight on an education funding fight by participating in a 150-mile walk from New York City to the state Capitol.

"All across Long Island there are school districts that are suffering, kids are not getting a quality education. And for decades the state has not been providing it for them," says Lisa Tyson, of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

Organizers of a rally Saturday in Brentwood say October marks the 10-year anniversary of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, which directed more money into schools, especially the state's poorest districts.  Advocates argue that New York still owes nearly $4 billion to communities statewide.

"Here on Long Island, it's almost $1 billion of that. Our schools are struggling," says Blanca Villanueva, of the Alliance for Quality Education. "Our school districts are doing the best they can with what they have, but when the resources aren't there, there has to be cuts."

The state budget office says that for over 10 years, per-pupil spending on education in New York has led the nation, and just last week a judge flatly dismissed the Alliance's claim and methodology. The Alliance says that is a separate lawsuit, and argues that there is a $10,000 difference in per-pupil spending in the state's highest- and lowest-needs districts.

On Sunday, demonstrators will leave New York City for a walk to Albany, which they plan to reach on Oct. 11.

"I'm walking because my sister was in kindergarten when this lawsuit was first settled and now she's a sophomore, a 10th-grader in high school," says Villaneuva. "So now will she be graduating before the funding is paid? It's another generation that has gone through our school system without the resources they need to succeed."

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

In 1942, the Georgian Revival house became a 1 LI Hidden Past: Orphan Tree at Brookwood Hall
News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen took a look at 2 Holiday Help: The Nutcracker
One or more burglars have struck eight homes 3 Suffolk police: W. Islip burglaries a pattern
Gary Leifer, 59, told News 12 Long Island 4 Cancer patient claims officer assaulted him at NUMC
Seven people live in the home, and two 5 Family left homeless after fire rips through Deer Park home

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Need help this holiday season? We've got you Holiday Help Series

Need a gift idea? Perhaps you need a fun idea to do with the kids?

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE