Thursday, February 23, 2012
To Lobby or Not to Lobby?
Is it worth it to lobby Albany for more state aid funding? Of course it is! It never hurts to let decision makers know that we care about the education of our children as well as remind everyone who is not a local representative that there is New York land north of the Thruway. But it is important to be realistic about what the outcome will be for our lobbying efforts. At the meeting Wednesday night sponsored by the Canton High School Parent group, Chad Radock of the Alliance for Quality Education was very clear about we would be advocating for: 1) make the $250 million dollars set aside for competitive grants available now, and 2) encourage legislators to close corporate tax loopholes. He was very clear that the Governor's position regarding additional money for education next year is NO. If, through lobbying efforts, the money originally intended for competition is distributed by a formula to school districts, there might be 100,000 to 200,000 additional dollars for our districts. That will definitely save a few positions, but in Potsdam, there will still be a $1.2 million dollar gap. We must put even more effort into lobbying school district officials to develop a solution to that huge gap that will have the least impact on our students.