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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Coalition senator raises prospect of changing school-aid distribution

Will changing the formula for distributing school aid be part of the agenda under the new coalition that has seized control? And if so, has anyone told Republicans?

In a letter to constituents, Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland), one of the six dissident Democrats who have joined the 30 Republicans to form a “Senate Majority Coalition,” says that proposals to change the minimum wage hike and campaign-finance laws will be advanced. That simply echoed what other coalition members said Tuesday.

But in a wrinkle, Carlucci also said “changing the school aid formula” would be one of the items that “will finally have the chance to be voted on by the entire Senate body.”

School-aid fights are notoriously among the toughest in the state Legislature. Typically, it pits suburban and rural Republicans against urban Democrats who say that poor and “high needs” districts don’t get enough money.

For instance, Long Island Republicans touted that while the 2010-11 budget shortchanged Nassau and Suffolk county schools, the 2011-12 and 2012-13 gave them higher shares of the statewide school-aid allotment.

If the six dissident Democrats push their new Republican partners to change school aid, the coalition's bond will be quickly tested.

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