Imploring Support for Public Education

Building upon their continued local efforts, four representatives from the Bayport-Blue Point School District visited Albany in March to meet with elected officials and call for their unwavering support of public education.
During the visit, Board of Education President Rebecca Campbell, Board Trustee James March, PTA President Andrea Sanseviro and Student Representative Elizabeth Geoghan, met with officials from the offices of Assemblymen Al Graf and Andrew Garbarino, Sens. Tom Croci, Phil Boyle, John Flanagan and Dean Skelos, and Speaker for the Assembly Carl Heastie to discuss matters such as the Gap Elimination Adjustment, state aid and Common Core testing.

In an unprecedented year when the 2015-16 state aid figures had yet to be released, the group stressed the importance this information plays in the district’s budget development process as well as the need to repeal the GEA, which has siphoned more than $9.1 million in funding from BBP since its enactment in 2009-10. They also focused on the response the community has expressed in regard to Common Core testing and the state’s impractical desire to massively connect it to APPR.

“As a student member on the Board of Education, I have experienced wonderful things this year, but this definitely topped it all,” said Elizabeth. “Each of [the officials] gave us time and actually understood our concerns with the GEA, education reforms and, of course, the testing issues that are currently growing. Many of them just wanted to hear from a student’s perspective, which I can tell you meant a great deal to me and made quite the impression. Even though I may not agree with all of them on everything, I do respect the work they do, and in such a busy and stressful time in Albany, I was shocked at the time and honesty we received.”