Thiele Calls for Increased School Aid

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New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. on Monday called Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state aid to education inadequate for both the 1st Assembly District and the rest of Long Island.

“More and more demands are being placed on local school districts to meet higher standards, while at the same time freezing property taxes,” he said in a release. “To achieve both of these goals, there must be adequate state support of education.”

Mr. Thiele said a recent state comptroller’s study had shown that five local school districts were feeling some level of fiscal stress. Among those were Southampton, East Quogue and Riverhead.

Mr. Thiele called for the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which had been enacted to eliminate a state budget deficit, should be ended now that the deficit is gone. He also said the state must ramp up spending on education, calling for the governor to almost double his aid package from $961 million to $1.8 billion.

“We want better results and we must invest to get those results,” he said. The tax cap, which will be basically flat this year, allowing only a 0.12-percent increase in property tax levies, means the state must do more to support education, he said.

Because of high real estate values, most local school districts do not receive major amounts of state aid. Sag Harbor is expected to see an increase of about $43,000, or 2.49 percent, while Bridgehampton is in line for about a 4.15-percent increase of $28,

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