NEW YORK - Voters will be deciding the fates of school budgets and school board candidates all across the state today, and when it comes to immigrant issues, one town on Long Island with a large Latino population may be a key indicator of things to come.
The Brentwood student body is 75 percent Latino, according to Alexandra Sanjuan with Make the Road New York. She says the budget issues in this small town are a reliable indicator of how ready the state is to deal with the needs of immigrant students in New York.
“We don’t need 73 teachers to be cut out, and part of the budget should be more security in the schools, because we are having issues inside the schools, and we don’t want these problems to get bigger.”
Sanjuan says roughly 90 percent of school districts statewide have put budgets on the ballot that fall within the taxing limits imposed by Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers.
Ruth Negron-Gaines with the NAACP on Long Island says a recent candidate’s forum helped to shine a light on the needs of students of color.
“They talked about the district’s finances, the diversity within the community, the classroom sizes, the fact that we need to hire more people of color to reflect the community.”
Three seats are being contested in the Brentwood School District today. Three of the six candidates attended the forum last week hosted by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, Long Island WINS and Noticia.