Upstate Losing Out on School Funding


The problems with funding our public education system have become apparent in recent years. As a parent and grandparent, I'm afraid our children's futures will be determined by petty, partisan politics. Schools are the heart and soul of our communities, and our teachers should know exactly where they stand every year. Budgets should never contain surprises for our children, teachers or communities. For this reason, I support the creation of an independent commission to allocate state education aid.

See the full Post Standard Op-Ed here.


In order to rebound from the Great Recession and give our children the chance to rebuild New York for the 21st Century, we need to provide our schools with fair and equitable funding and the resources to succeed. When schools succeed children succeed, and when children succeed communities and states succeed.


New York's road map to success depends upon the schools to which we send our children every day. Schools and communities should not have their success threatened during Albany's budget season, nor should they have their futures put on hold by reductions in state aid.


For example, New York City schools received more than a 20 percent increase in education aid over the last four years compared to many school districts in Central New York and in the 129th Assembly district. Parents and teachers alike strive to raise the standard for our children in the classroom each day. But when schools in Central New York don't have the resources to compete because of unfair and inequitable state aid distribution, it puts the very future of our youth at risk. Our children should not be the first generation to achieve less than we did.


During the 2014 Legislative Session, our current assembly representative voted yes on legislation that sent $300 million in additional education funding to New York City and only $40 million Upstate. Simply put, we cannot count on our current elected officials to provide the resources necessary for our children to succeed.

That's why today's era of balancing the state budget on draconian cuts to education must come to an end if New York is to achieve success in the 21st century. Only career politicians could see a budget surplus and not reinvest that money in the next generation.


We went to these public schools, our parents went to these public schools, and we made our homes here because of the communities they fostered. I want that for my children and grandchildren the same way you want that for yours.

That's why I'm running for State Assembly. My family and the families I meet on the campaign trail serve as my inspiration. Any parent can tell you how strong that inspiration can be.


Some things are bigger than politics. If you place your trust in me to represent you in the State Assembly, I'll fight tooth-and-nail to take education funding out of the hands of people who use it as a bargaining chip and into the hands of an independent body beholden to an equitable and fair formula.


The success of our state and, more importantly, the success of our children, depends on an independent education system. It is about time we provide one, and cut the Albany middle man out of the equation. I'll strive to do that as your Assemblyman.  Next, welfare reform ...


Rick Zaccaria
Candidate for State Assembly


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