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Ceretto votes on first budget bill

by jmaloni

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Wed, Mar 19th 2014 11:35 pm

Vows to continue fighting for restoration of education funding

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, began the process of finalizing the New York state budget Wednesday by voting on the first budget bill. Ceretto noted that, throughout budget negotiations, he is still fighting to restore education funding that was cut in 2011. He is working in a bipartisan manner with the governor and legislative leaders to ensure these issues, which his constituents have indicated are the most critical to them, are fully addressed when the budget is finalized.

"As we close in on a budget agreement for this year, I'm continuing to push for an important issue to middle-class families: restoring education funding that was cut in 2011," Ceretto said. "Now that the state has a $2 billion surplus, we have the flexibility to accomplish both of these goals.

"The governor and I share a vision in which New York's middle-class families are able to keep their hard-earned money and our kids receive a world-class education. With that purpose in mind, we are closing in on an agreement that would advance those objectives."

The education funding cuts that occurred in 2011, otherwise known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment, were enacted to fix a $10 billion budget deficit. In the first year, the cuts amounted to $2.7 billion. Since then, local school districts have lost $6.5 billion in state aid. Now that the budget is balanced and the state has a projected $2 billion surplus, these cuts need to be restored, Ceretto said.

Ceretto is also pushing to relieve students and teachers from the Common Core mandates. His plan would fully restore the Gap Elimination Adjustment, place a moratorium on Common Core testing until a full review can be done, and put an end to sharing children's personal information with third parties.

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