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Rally to Challenge Cuomo on School Aid

Republicans, educators to push demand for change in distribution of aid.

Several school administrators and Long Island Republican Assembly members are planning a rally in Huntington Monday to urge changes in how school aid is distributed.

Long Island representatives and educators have long complained that the region pays a disproportionate share of taxes compared to what it gets back in state aid.

The lineup of educators expected to attend includes leaders from both counties, among them James McKenna, president of the Suffolk School Superintendents Association, James March, president of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association, Gary Bixhorn, chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Dr. David Bennardo, superintendent of the South Huntington school district, and the superintendents from Sachem and Connequot.

The Assembly members include Chad Lupinacci, a former member of the South Huntington school board who took office in January, pledging to help school districts.

The campaign to change the aid system includes an online petition and a Youtube video.

The petition says that "under Gov. Cuomo’s budget, Long Island schools would only receive $66 per student in new aid, far below the statewide average of $119 and about half of the New York City average of $129 per student."

Also expected at the rally are Assembs. Andrew Raia, R-East Northport, Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Smithtown, Al Graf, R-Holbrook, Andrew Gabarino, R-Sayville, Joseph Saladino, R-Massapequa, Michael Montesano, R-Glen Head, Edward Ra, R-Franklin Square, Daniel Losquadro, R-Shoreham and Brian Curran, R-Lynbrook. 

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The rally is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday at Whitman High School. Parents, PTA members and members of the South Huntington school board are also expected to attend.

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