Education

Assemblyman Abinanti stands up for our suburban schools. Everyone deserves the opportunity for a good education – the first step to a better future.

Common Core

Assemblyman Abinanti has been an outspoken critic of the unprofessional rollout of the “Common Core.” Common Core standards designed to educate New York’s children created confusion and anxiety. The Legislature responded:

High Stakes Testing –The Legislature prohibited: standardized tests for pre-k – grade 2, the use of standardized test scores to determine student placement and recording these scores on permanent records for students in grades 3 – 8.

Data Sharing –The Legislature instituted data privacy protections. It limited the use of third parties to collect or store student data, required deletion of previously stored data and allowed school districts to opt-out of data sharing programs.

Teacher Evaluations –To address concerns that teachers weren’t given enough time or guidance to teach to the new standards, the Legislature postponed teacher reviews based on Common Core test scores until the 2015-2016 school year.

Universal Pre-K

The budget established a statewide universal pre-kindergarten program, with a $340 million appropriation – $40 million for pre-k programs outside of New York City. The Assembly proposal to authorize New York City to fund its own program through higher taxes on its wealthiest residents – leaving more money for pre-k elsewhere – was not included in the final budget.

Funding

We need to replace the property tax as a primary source of education funding. Assemblyman Abinanti believes that the State needs to pay more of the cost of education. The budget makes a record $22.3 billion investment in public education, increasing school aid by $1.15 billion or 5.4% – $551 million more than the Governor proposed. This includes an additional $250 million Foundation Aid and an additional $600 million restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). Assemblyman Abinanti’s advocacy insured that his school districts benefited from additional Foundation Aid and restoration of the GEA.

Helping Our Schools and Municipalities

Tom joined with his fellow Legislators to adopt the necessary legislation to continue sharing 1% of the County’s sales tax revenues with school districts and municipalities that don’t have the power to impose sales taxes.

Each year municipalities receive over $42 million, and school districts receive over $14 million from this County sales tax.

This program has helped enhance education and stabilize local and school property taxes.