Parents concerned over devastating potential reduction in transportation mileage for catholic and private schools plan trip to Albany
Somers, N.Y.– 3/21/2012— Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson), along with Father Mark Vaillancourt and Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy hosted a conference call with over one hundred concerned constituents regarding a controversial mandate relief item that would cripple catholic and parochial schools.
The Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents, in a December 2011 position paper, recommended either state funding of private school, out-of-district transportation, or a reduction of mileage limits from 15 to 5 miles. Other considerations include a freeze and review of all current mandates to identify proper funding sources, as well as a consolidation of services.
“While we understand the fiscal concerns of school districts, tuition and tax-paying families will simply not tolerate the reduction in school bus service,” said James Cultrara, Director of Education for the New York State Catholic Conference We urge law makers to return to the practice of funding school transportation costs.”
Amongst the call, were parents and concerned alumni from various Catholic and parochial schools across the Hudson Valley.
Senator Ball decided to form the Citizens Advisory Council, chaired by Yorktown Councilman Terrance Murphy and Father Mark Vaillancourt after he hosted a roundtable at Kennedy Catholic regarding the proposed mandate relief item.
“The families that choose to send their children to parochial school are still paying school taxes and this busing is one of the few tangible benefits they receive,” Senator Ball said. “If this proposal becomes a reality, the state of New York will once again be unfairly targeting those parents who are merely attempting to provide their children with expanded opportunities and a great education. The assault on our families, Catholic families in particular, must end and common sense must prevail.”
Co-chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Council, Yorktown Councilman Terrance Murphy said, “This is a direct attack on catholic school districts that are being put under this duress. With the recent closure of many catholic schools I would love to make sure that the mileage gets increased to 25, 30 or even 35 miles. We have people here that have chose to come to catholic school and they pay their taxes, this is what they are allowed and now it is literally being taken away from them. We will be fighting with Senator Ball and Father Vaillancourt to make sure that this legislation never sees the day of light.”
During the conference call, Senator Ball announced he will be hosting a second forum with Councilman Murphy and Father Vaillancourt at Kennedy Catholic on Monday, April 16th at 7:00 PM.
The Citizen’s Advisory Council is also planning a trip up to Albany hosted by Senator Ball, on Albany 18th to meet with various legislators and members of the Governor’s Mandate Relief Council.
The Citizen’s Advisory Council has set up a petition against the mandate relief item. You can sign the petition by click here or logging onto: ball.nysenate.gov.
For more information, or to join Senator Ball’s Citizen’s Advisory Council, please contact Krista Gobins at (845) 531-9796.