This message is being sent on behalf of Vincent LeVien, Director of External Affairs for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Once again, our elected officials in Albany have failed their constituents. Incorporating the Education Tax Credit into this year’s budget would have helped strengthen programs at public schools, helped enable scholarship organizations to make private and parochial schools more affordable for families, and helped teachers pay for classroom supplies. But the Education Tax Credit was left out of the final deal. Speaker Heastie chose not to help us. The State Assembly chose not to help our schools, teachers, and families. They decided that instead, we would have to settle for payments on mandated services that were already owed to our schools. That’s not good enough.
We fought — together — harder this year than ever before. You know we came close because of how hard they fought back. They used direct mail, social media, and commercials. They even complained to the media about our advocacy for the Education Tax Credit, essentially saying that they might have considered passing the bill if we were nicer about it. This year, we had the help of Governor Cuomo, who appeared in commercials and at rallies for the Education Tax Credit. Of course, the bill’s sponsors, Senator Marty Golden and Assemblyman Mike Cusick worked hard once again to fight for this great cause. Taken as a whole, I truly believe these efforts were why $250 million in mandated services funding is part of the deal. But we know that’s not enough to help save our schools. We will not give up. We will fight even harder next year and for as long as it takes to enact the Education Tax Credit and help the schools, teachers, and families of New York State.
Director of External Affairs
Diocese of Brooklyn