JOE ROBACH SUPPORTS A VARIETY OF EDUCATION LEGISLATION (PART 1)

Joe Robach Rochester NY – sponsors several pieces of education legislation in the New York State Senate.  One important bill sponsored by Joe Robach would create the Empire State Internship Program (S495).  This legislation underscores the importance of internships and the impact they can have on students.  Internships provide exposure to advanced technologies and other things not available in a classroom.   Internships can also help kids pick a career path and give them real life experience in the fields that they are interested in pursuing.  Joe Robach is a strong believer that internships can be a fundamental part of a student’s education.

Another important education bill introduced by Joe Robach is Senate Bill 721.  Joe Robach’s bill would establish an incentive program for school districts who would like to start foreign language education programs in elementary schools.  Specifically, this bill would establish a pilot program in five high needs school districts to expand foreign language education programs.  Additionally, Joe Robach’s bill would provide 100 awards of up to $10,000 for students who are working towards certification in foreign language education.     It is expected that these awards would cover the cost of books and some tuition expenses.  Joe Robach knows the positive impact foreign language education can have on young children and this is one of the reasons he sponsors this bill.

S.560 of 2012 is also a very interesting education bill sponsored by Joe Robach.  This bill would include the history of people with disabilities in New York State’s mandatory curriculum.  If enacted, this legislation would authorize the Board of Regents to adopt a statewide curriculum that would provide students with the opportunity to learn about people with disabilities and the impact they had on changing history.  This bill promotes good citizenship and inspires respect for those with disabilities.    All these bills sponsored by Joe Robach are currently pending in the Senate’s Committee on Education.

JOE ROBACH SUPPORTS EDUCATION FUNDING IN THE 2012-2013 BUDGET

Education funding during the 2012-2013 New York State Budget negotiations, Senator Joe Robach Rochester NY has supported and advocated for a one-house budget resolution that would restore $200 million in education aid for schools (over the 2012-2013 Executive Budget proposal).   The education proposal supported by Joe Robach would restore or add funding in many important areas, such as Nonpublic School Aid; High Achieving School Senate Program; library aid; Center for Autism and Related Disorders; Higher Education Opportunity Program Awards; Missing Children Program; Just for Kids Program; and the Senior Star Rebate Program.  It should be noted that the Senate resolution agrees with Cuomo’s recommendation relating to education capital projects ($17,400,000).

The education plan supported by Joe Robach also includes exciting incentives for districts, such an incentive regarding electric school buses.  More specifically, school districts will receive financial incentives if they purchase electric buses through NYSERDA.  Electric buses will help reduce transportation costs and help the environment.

Also included in the Senate’s education proposal is a requirement that any students with parents who participate in social services programs be automatically enrolled in the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program.  This would be helpful for many parents and for school districts as well.

Even though New York’s economy is financially strained, the Senate and Joe Robach have drafted a very fiscally sound budget proposal which restores millions of dollars to education and public schools.

Education Budget

Joe Robach protects education, local schools and students in the 2010-2011 NYS Budget.

In 2010, the Legislature faced the daunting task of fixing a $10 billion state budget deficit. Senator Joe Robach worked with his colleagues to close this gap while also protecting local education.

Joe Robach, and the Senate Majority, did not support Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2011-12 school aid budget because they knew the cuts would be detrimental to schools, teachers and students.  They fought hard to restore an additional $272 million in overall state aid to education in the final budget, including $230 million in direct school aid to districts across the state. Senator Joe Robach prevented $190 million in cost shifts that were proposed by the Governor that would have placed additional funding strains on local school districts and taxpayers.  Most importantly, he waged a successful fight to restore some regional balance, fairness and equity to the statewide school aid distribution formula, which the Governor had thrown out of whack by proposing a higher percentage of aid to New York City schools.

Many times there are parallels of Rochester education to other regions of the state, including Westchester County and Long Island.  It is important to know that the state pays for an average of 18.2 percent of the total budget Long Island school.   In the City of Rochester, the State pays for approximately 80 percent.  When you put state aid side by side to wealthier districts in places with higher costs of living such as Long Island, the Long Island average amount of state aid per pupil in FY2011-2012 is around $2,500.  Brighton approximately $3,105.  Greece around $6,148 and the City of Rochester $10,812.

The actual figure from the 2011-12 budget show that our schools were funded at a total of:  Brighton ($11,024,061); Greece ($71,717,501); Rochester ($442,101,690).  In total, all the school districts in Monroe County received $877,191,528 from the State of New York ($7,844 per pupil).

Last year, Joe Robach was able to make a bad situation better.