Below is an advocacy letter for you to copy and send to our state and federal representatives asking them to take immediate action in advocating for financial relief for the Copiague School District. Please copy the message below and send it to our representatives at the addresses linked here.
Dear (Elected Official),
As a voter, taxpayer and parent of the Copiague Public Schools, I am writing to you today regarding the current withholdings of state aid to districts across New York State.
As of August 20, our district was made aware that 20% of our state aid has been withheld and to prepare for additional withholdings of future payments. This has been devastating to our district, with 54 staff members already having lost their jobs prior to our schools reopening. If the current withholdings become permanent, it will be financially crippling to our students, staff and community and a loss of almost $13 million. Like all districts across the state, Copiague is operating under severe financial stress due to ongoing COVID-19-related requirements. We need your help.
We are a diverse, high-needs school district that relies heavily on state aid funding to operate. In fact, almost 50% of our revenue budget is from state aid. A 20% cut across the board in state aid affects our school district much more drastically than a school district not as heavily reliant on aid. This cut, once again, underscores the inequity in funding for the state’s neediest children.
I urgently request you to fight for our children. In the absence of federal relief, we implore Gov. Cuomo and the State Division of Budgeting to reexamine their decision to withhold 20% of state aid from all school districts. We understand the need to make cuts and to tighten our spending. All we ask is for this to be done with equity.
Thank you for your work on behalf of the students, staff and community of the Copiague Public Schools.
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