Legislative Advocacy

 Legislative Advocacy

Welcome to the Bedford Central School District's Legislative Advocacy and Information Page.  This information is designed to connect Bedford Central parents, community members, and staff with our elected officials. 

Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may be interested, as an educated community is an empowered community.  Our collective advocacy will work to ensure a strong voice in the legislative decisions that impact the Bedford Central School District and our students.

BCSD has a substantial and rising population of high need and at-risk students comprised of English Language Learners (ELLs) and students in poverty who receive Free and Reduced Price Meals. Out of 46 districts in Westchester and Putnam counties, the BCSD is:

  • #4 in English Language Learner student growth
  • #7 in English Language Learner students as a percent of total enrollment
  • #11 in Free and Reduced Lunch Program (FRLP) participation

 Yet, BCSD is #40 out of 46 districts in Westchester/Putnam Counties in the amount of the NY State aid we receive.

Districts across Westchester and Putnam counties are experiencing declining student populations. Many have a minimal number of high-need students, yet they receive more aid than the BCSD.

State aid is intended to help districts that genuinely need it most. The aid should be provided for students at risk and requiring mandated services. BCSD represents a diverse community that is more heterogeneous than most districts in Westchester and Putnam counties, and the lack of State support for communities with growing English Language Learner populations is hurting those districts the most.    

 These changes would provide the funding needed for the Bedford Central School District to provide adequate, equitable, fair and affordable education for all children.

 The key areas, which will likely have the greatest impact, are:

  • Modifying the State aid formula to increase the weight for ELLs
  • Using current data to recognize the poverty in our community. BCSD has had more than 50% growth in ELLs and students in poverty since 2007. Data from the 2000 census that is being used is not representative of our current population.
  • Lowering the extraordinary cost threshold to provide relief to school districts to educate students with extraordinary needs.
  • There are State properties, e.g. prisons, in our District for which the State does not pay property taxes and contribute to our schools, as is the case in other school districts in which State properties reside.

Two of our legislators, Senator George Latimer and Assemblyman David Buchwald are holding a Town Hall meeting from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at the Bedford Town Hall, Courtroom 321, Bedford Road, Bedford Hills.

BCSD Advocacy Links

These documents have been crafted with input from a Bedford Central School District Board of Education ad hoc Advocacy Committee, the BCSD Board of Education Finance Committee, the BCSD Community Budget Advisory Committee, and the school administration. We have also incorporated recommendations from other State and regional advocacy groups. The Bedford Teachers Association has expressed support for these advocacy positions and is working on behalf of this effort. 

Advocacy Work of Regional and State Education Organizations

BCSD Together

New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)

Westchester Putnam School Boards Association (WPSBA)

New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS)

New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYASBO)

Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents (LHCOSS)

Statewide School Finance Consortium (SSFS)

How to Contact Our Elected Officials

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Swithboard: 202-456-1414
U.S. Senators for the State of New York
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
531 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
202-224-4451; NY Office 212-688-6262
Web Form: http://gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/
Senator Charles E. Schumer
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
Web Form: http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/contact.cfm
U.S. House of Representatives
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Washington D.C. Office:  1529  Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 
                                  202-225-5441  Fax-202-225-3289
Goshen Office: 225 Main Street, Suite 3232G, Goshen, NY 10924, 845-291-4100
Hours: M-F 9-6:00 pm
Governor of New York
Andrew Cuomo
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
Email Address:  gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us
Web Form: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
NY State Senator
District Office:  222 Grace Church Street,  Suite 300,Portchester, NY  10573;
Phone:(914) 934-5250  Fax:  (914)  934-5256
Albany Office: 817 Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 12247, 518-455-2031
Terrence P. Murphy
District Office: Putnam County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Avenue, 3rd Floor, Carmel, NY 10512
Albany Office: Room 817, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3111  Fax: (518) 426-6977
NY State Assembly
David Buchwald
Albany Office: LOB 648, Albany, NY 12248, 518-455-5397
District Office: 125-131 East Main Street Suite 204, Mount Kisco, NY 10549,
Phone: 914-244-4450   Fax:  914-244-4453
NYS Senate Standing Committee on Education
Senator John Flanagan, Chairman
Room 805 Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 11241
Phone: 518-455-2071; Fax: 518-426-6904
260 Middle Country Road, Suite 102
Smithtown, New York 11787
Phone: 631-361-2154
NYS Assembly Committee on Education
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chair
LOB 836, Albany, NY 11248
Phone: 518-455-4851
41-02 Queens Blvd. Suite 2B
Sunnyside, New York  11101
Phone: 718-784-3194
contact form:  http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Catherine-Nolan/contact/
Commissioner  MaryEllen Elia
New York Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: 518-474-3852
NYS Board of Regents
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Board of Regents, Room 110 EB
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: 518-474-5889
Other Key Legislative Contacts

Senator John Flanagan, Senate Majority Leader, Flanagan@NYSenate.gov

Senator Jeff Klein, Senate IDC Leader, JDKlein@NYSenate.gov

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Democratic Leader, SCousins@NYSenate.gov

Senator Carl Marcellino, Chairman, Senate Education Committee, Marcelli@NYSenate.gov

Speaker Carl Heastie, NYS Assembly, Speaker@NYAssembly.gov

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Chairwoman, Assembly Education Committee, NolanC@NYAssembly.gov

New York State Legislative Session Informationhttp://public.leginfo.state.ny.us