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Jan 18, 2019
Charlton Heights Elementary SchoolPashley Elementary SchoolStevens Elementary SchoolO'Rourke Middle SchoolBH-BL High School

Budget News

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May 15, 2018

Residents approve 2018-19 school budget

BH-BL residents approved the 2018-19 school budget with 1,090 yes votes to 389 no votes, and an approval percentage of 74%. Board candidates David Versocki (1,182) and Lisa M. Morse (1,207) will fill the upcoming vacancies and serve three-year terms beginning July 1. Next year's budget will result in an estimated 1.98% tax rate increase. Thank you for voting today!


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Make your voice heard: Advocate for BH-BL students

In light of the items in the Governor's proposed budget, all members of the BH-BL community are encouraged to contact their elected leaders to voice their opinions on public school funding and mandate relief.

Your voice can make a difference! Be an advocate for BH-BL students. Not sure where to start? See below for some advocacy tips.

We've learned that sending your comments via regular mail is most effective. They can be addressed and mailed to:

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Honorable Carl Heastie
New York State Assembly
Legislative Office Building, Room 932
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: 518-455-4800
Fax: 518-455-5459

James Tedisco
Legislative Office Building, Room 803
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2181
Fax: (518) 426-8621

Mary Beth Walsh
Legislative Office Building, Room 725
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: 518-455-5772

Advocacy Tool Kit

School districts across New York are making cuts to their schools budgets as they adjust to rising costs that are
outpacing revenue; grappling with stagnant state aid, and planning for items included in the Governor's proposal (i.e., reduce funding for special education summer school programs, etc.).

For some districts, that could mean lost jobs and reductions in the number of class sections, sports, extracurricular
offerings, afterschool clubs and bus runs, enrichment opportunities, early learning programs, advanced courses, student support services, and more.

Continued reductions are not a viable long-term solution to fiscal challenges when today’s students and teachers must meet higher performance standards than those for any previous generation. This trend of reductions cannot continue
without threatening the quality – and equality – of the education available to all students.

Community advocates must speak up now, on behalf of their students and their schools, or risk losing the high level of local public education that they’ve come to expect. Thank you for being an advocate who stands up for local public

How can I make a difference for students?

Concerned citizens often wonder what they can do to help their local students and schools.
The answer: Complete one or more of the items on the Advocacy Checklist below. Then encourage friends and family
to do the same.

Advocacy Checklist

Empower yourself

  • Choose an issue affecting your local schools and learn about that issue (Action Step #1).

  • Hone and deliver a “laser talk” to someone about the issue you chose (Action Step #2).

Advocate with your legislators

  • Send a letter or email to local legislators (Action Step #3).

  • Establish a relationship with legislators’ aides (Action Step #4).

  • Schedule face-to-face meetings with legislators, and ask them to take a leadership role on your selected issue (Action Step #5).

  • Invite legislators to special events at schools.

  • Ask questions at legislators’ town hall meetings.

Advocate through the media

  • Write a letter to a newspaper editor and send your published letter to local legislators.

  • Copy editorials or newspaper articles about your issue and send them to local legislators.

Advocate in the community

  • Organize a letter-writing campaign.

  • Speak to a local community group.

  • Participate in a forum on your selected issue.

  • Use social media to spread the word about what
    you’re advocating for:

• Update your Facebook or Twitter status with a key point from your “laser talk.”
• Share links to relevant news articles or to your school district website.
• Invite people to participate in events that are related to your selected issue.
• Follow legislators’ social media accounts. Use social media to connect with legislators.

Tips for using social media to advocate

Family and friends use social media to stay in touch, but legislators also use it to connect with constituents. As a community advocate, you can tap into the power of social media to help spread the word about the challenges facing public schools.

Have a Facebook page?

  • Search for and then “like” your local legislators’ Facebook pages. Visit these pages often to learn more about their legislative activities and interests.

  • When a legislator’s Facebook post relates to education, be sure to “comment” on the post or “like” the post if you support it.

  • “Share” the post on your own Facebook page to draw your friends’ attention to the legislator’s stance on education issues.

Have a Twitter feed?

  • Search for and then “follow” your local legislators’ Twitter accounts so they appear on your Twitter feed.

  • When a legislator tweets about education, “retweet” it with some comments on the issue. Your retweet will appear on your Twitter feed and on the feeds of those who “follow” you.

  • Send a tweet that includes the legislator’s Twitter handle so anyone who views “all” tweets related to the legislator will see your comments (e.g., I support @SenXYZ).

  • Use hashtags in your tweets to encourage others to share a particular advocacy message.