• Petitioned NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

This petition was delivered to:

Governor, New York State
NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

Increase the state aid budget for Sachem School District

    1. Jennifer Novara Jones
    2. Petition by

      Jennifer Novara Jones

      Holtsville, NY

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We, the residents of Sachem School District, Long Island, are writing in protest of the projected 2013-14 NYS aid to our district.

Sachem School District is located in the middle of Suffolk County, comprising the towns of Holbrook, Holtsville, Farmingville, Ronkonkoma, Lake Ronkonkoma and Lake Grove. Each year there are approximately 15,000 students being educated in Sachem Schools.

Our district repeatedly and routinely produces championship level sports teams, music groups and academic clubs. Our test scores show performance above state average every year. Our sense of community and pride is strong, and we work hard for what we achieve.

Our district is also heavily taxed, and our residents have been willing over and over to take on more tax hikes for the sake of our children and the quality of education and programs that they receive. However, there comes a time when we need to speak up, and that time is now.

The current state aid proposal, prepared and proposed by Gov. Cuomo, projects that Sachem will receive only $105,380,122 in state aid. This is close to 1 million dollars less than last year and far less than what was expected. In fact, the projected aid to Sachem is about the same as it was in 2005. In 2005, the Sachem community received $105.2M. In 2009 we received $119.2M (over $14 million more than we are projected to receive this year). Despite the reduction in aid, the NYS TRS payments, healthcare costs and overall operating costs have skyrocketed. Most notable, we have received NO relief at all to NYS mandated costs. All this has resulted in a current shortfall of over $26 million dollars.

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

Last year, the state directed school districts to use all available reserves in order to fund the previous years’ budgets. At Sachem we did just that. Over the last few years we have virtually depleted all available reserves to maintain the programs during the financial crises. The state assured us that restoration in aid was “on the way”. Unfortunately our reserves are now at a dangerously low level and our auditors have called us a “district in financial distress”.

OUR AID HAS BEEN CUT WHILE DISTRICTS ALL AROUND US ARE RECEIVING INCREASES THIS YEAR. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

Without additional aid from the state, we will be forced to either raise taxes over 16% (!!!!!) or cut all programs other than basic required educational classes – nothing else – and substantially raise class size.

Governor Cuomo, we expected your support when we voted for you. We expected you to look with fair eyes and good faith when calculating state aid to our deserving district. And we expect that you will revisit this and make right what is terribly wrong with the projected state aid package for Sachem School District.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. ALMOST FINISHED!

      Jennifer Novara Jones
      Petition Organizer

      Great work everyone - we are just ten (10!!!!) signatures away from completing this petition. Please give the last push to the Sachem community and lets get this out to ten more so I can get this into the hands of the Governor.

      Thank you all!

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Almost to 700!

      Jennifer Novara Jones
      Petition Organizer

      Great work everyone - let's keep it going. Our voices will be heard in Albany!

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. Almost to 300!

      Jennifer Novara Jones
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you everyone for your support! We are almost to 300 signatures, let's get this back out there - email, facebook, twitter, community sites - however you can spread the word.

    7. Reached 250 signatures
    8. Pls forward to churches and community groups within Sachem

      Jennifer Novara Jones
      Petition Organizer

      If your church is within the Sachem district, perhaps they will allow you to post this for consideration by district residents who are not on Facebook or may not follow the school sites. Also, if anyone has connections to groups like SYAG, SSC, Sachem Wrestling, Sachem Soccer, Sachem Swim Club or Girl/Boy Scouts - please forward to them as well - those groups will not be able to lease Sachem district buildings or fields for use if we are on a contingency budget, so this affects them too. (Thank you Allen Wone)

    9. Reached 100 signatures
    10. Let's get this link circulated!

      Jennifer Novara Jones
      Petition Organizer

      We are up to 70 signatures, and although this site only "requires" 100, I would like to collect 1000. Let's circulate this link and get our voices heard in Albany! Thank you everyone!

    11. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Tina Zarcone HOLBROOK, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      We need State Aid so that we don't lose Kindergarten and our school sports and activities

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ronnie Fugger HOLTSVILLE, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      I h ave worked my whole life 16yrs

      to be a cheerleader and now they

      want to take it away we have made it to the Nationals the last couple of years to represent Sachem school as well as New York Schools

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nicole Petrocelli CORAM, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      I am the varsity arrowettes coach at Sachem East. Our program has been cut and this affected many dancers. I am a product of my hometown's sports and clubs availability and I am devastated that these students will not have the chance to excel in this capacity.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • isabel cubas LAKE GROVE, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      my son's education is at risk. this is wrong, Wenonah Elementary is a great school with a lot of resources for our children. We can't lose them.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tina Evan E. SETAUKET, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      I am a Sachem teacher. Our staff has already been reduced to bear bones from previous cuts. The children in this district have something really special. Don't take that away from them. Aren't they the state's most important investment in the future?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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