Members of the William Floyd Board of Education are in the midst of a busy advocacy season with several events across Long Island, in Albany and in Washington, D.C., having already taken place in which they discussed and advocated for the needs of the residents of the William Floyd school community. Topics discussed at these advocacy events include school safety, school aid, unfunded and underfunded mandates, career and college readiness and more.
This budget season kicked off with William Floyd representatives from the Board of Education, administration, faculty, staff and student body, attending two local events – the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association/Eastern Suffolk BOCES Advocacy Workshop, followed by the annual Longwood Legislative breakfast at which attendees discussed current issues facing education with state and federal elected officials.
Robert Vecchio, President of the William Floyd Board of Education, along with fellow trustee Robert Taiani, also attended a meeting of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association in which they discussed the topic of “Long Island Schools Meeting the Challenges of Shifting Political and Educational Landscapes.” Mr. Vecchio served as a guest speaker at this event.
The district also welcomed its state elected representatives and/or members of their staff including newly-elected Senator Monica Martinez, newly-elected Assemblyman Joseph DeStefano, Assemblyman Fred Thiele and a representative for Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, for sit-down meetings in which they discussed the needs of the district and the importance of our community receiving its fair share of state aid.
Additionally, three Board members – Robert Vecchio, April Coppola and Lorraine Mentz – had the opportunity to visit both the nation and state capital for important briefings and meetings with elected representatives and education officials at each level of government.
In Washington D.C., the William Floyd contingent attended the National School Boards Association Advocacy Institute which focused on the theme, “It’s Time for a Bright IDEA,” building momentum for the modernization and adequate funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which is designed to ensure educational opportunities for students with special needs. They also met with William Floyd alumnus Congressman Lee Zeldin regarding federal education funding and the IDEA, among many topics. The trustees also attended briefings by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Chair of the Senate Education committee, Dr. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham.
“It is an honor to advocate our state and federal officials on behalf of the residents and students of the William Floyd School District community,” said Mr. Vecchio. “We had candid conversations about the needs of our district and the burdens of unfunded and underfunded mandates on our residents, and lobbied our officials for positive reforms. On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to thank our representatives and their staff members for listening to our needs and concerns.”
The next Budget Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 at 7 pm in the William Floyd High School library, followed immediately by a regular meeting of the Board of Education. The Board of Education will present its adopted budget to the community on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 pm in the William Floyd High School library. The budget vote and election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, from 7 am – 9 pm at William Floyd High School.
See below for a video recap of various advocacy events this year!