How will the communities of the 23rd district be affected if Congress allows the country to fall off the fiscal cliff?
The New York State Association of School Boards, in a December 11 press release, warns that our school districts, and hence our children, could suffer severely.
Overall, schools in New York State stand to lose $164 million in federal funds, mostly coming from programs that serve students with disabilities and students living in poverty.
According to the Association:
“Schools in the North Country and Southern Tier would face the largest hurdles in raising funds to keep these programs in place: they would need to raise their property tax levies by nearly 1 percentage point on average just to make up for the lost federal aid and maintain current programs. That is noteworthy because by law, school districts must obtain the support of a 60 percent ‘supermajority’ of voters in order to raise tax levies by more than 2 percent.”
A .6% tax levy increase would be needed in the Finger Lakes region. Strapped taxpayers, already facing increases to cover pensions and other needs, would be sorely pressed to come up with these funds.
If Rep. Tom Reed is coming to your community on Saturday (see previous post), you can stop by and tell him that he needs to do all he can to preserve our schools and communities and keep our country from the fiscal cliff.