Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara Meets with Education “Lobbyists”

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara met with elementary school students at the state Capitol on Wednesday to discuss their push for increasing state education aid.

Santabarbara, who has been an outspoken advocate for public education, scheduled the meeting with Hamilton Elementary School’s “Political Action Committee” to learn more about their concerns with state funding for the Schenectady City School District. More than a dozen students came to the Capitol to lay out their priorities for the state budget.

“It was very inspiring to meet with students who are so knowledgeable and engaged in advocating for their education,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “They understand how important it is to invest in our public schools and I will continue to work on their behalf to ensure our schools get their fair share of funding.”

In December, Santabarbara joined educators and parents to rally for an increased investment in our students end to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), which has cost local schools nearly $100 million since it was initiated. He is also urging the state to release its projected education aid figures so school districts can properly prepare their budgets and has opposed any attempts to divert resources away from our public schools.

In an effort to help small city school districts, like Schenectady, Santabarbara is co-sponsoring new legislation that would adjust the state’s foundation aid formula. The new formula would ensure a more equitable distribution of state aid to school districts like the Schenectady City School District.

“Strengthening our public schools is essential for the future of New York and its reassuring to know that I have such passionate and committed partners in this effort,” Santabarbara added.

Assemblyman Santabarbara is committed to hearing from the students he represents, which is why he formed a student cabinet to weigh in on important education issues. The group had its first meeting last fall in Schenectady, with high school students from across the 111th Assembly District meeting to discuss school funding priorities and the allocation of state education aid.