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State Senators Concur: Tax Cap Concerns Arise if Federal Education Cuts Are Enacted

Posted Tuesday, September 05, 2017 - 10:56 AM

                 

Through visits and phone calls with Congressmen and State Senators, ECASB representatives have raised concerns about the impact of proposed funding cuts to Federal education programs. New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia responded to President Trump’s initial budget proposal by identifying approximately $280 million dollars in Department of Education budget cuts.  Commissioner Elia strongly opposed the following program cuts that would broadly hurt ECASB districts, as follows:

  • Title IIA                       $166M
  • ELA Acquisition      $2.7M
  • IDEA                             $7.2M
  • CTE                               $3.8M
  • Library & Tech.       $8.0M

Other Federal programs where cuts were proposed that would hurt selected ECASB districts include 21st Century School Grants ($88M) and the proposed elimination of Federal Impact Aid.

When meeting with Congressman Collins and representatives of Congressman Higgins ECASB representatives emphasized that any loss of Federal education funding would be very difficult for districts to offset under NY State’s Local Property Tax Cap. The State Senators ECASB representatives have met with all acknowledge that a loss of Federal dollars was never anticipated when the Local Tax Cap legislation was enacted.  At our meetings those Senators were provided draft correspondence requesting local Congressmen become outspoken in their opposition to Federal budget cuts.  The inflation measure used in the Local Property Tax Cap legislation has risen only four tenths of one percent over the first seven months of 2017.  That leaves very little flexibility for school districts to overcome any loss of Federal education funding.

Members of Congressman Higgin’s staff shared with ECASB representatives that they fear the Department of Education budget will be pushed forward in the House without hearings. The Congressman’s staff shared that the most effective means to express opposition would be via phone messages that emphasized the impact Federal education cuts would have on local school districts.

Contact information for your Members of Congress may be found here.

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