(WBNG Binghamton) The start of a new school year has academics on everyone's mind.
That includes Democratic New York State Senate candidate Anndrea Starzak, who called for equal funding in schools during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Starzak and her supporters stood outside Binghamton's Horace Mann Elementary school Tuesday to discuss a $100 million deficit in state funding she says is owed to schools in the 52nd District.
Starzak calls that number unacceptable, and said she has a plan to put that money into local schools.
"I will fight to get back the funding that was taken from our schools here. I will fight to restore quality education for our children," said Starzak. "And I have a four-year plan that restores full funding to our schools beginning in 2015."
Those plans include putting $1.9 billion into new school aid next year. Stating that the majority of school aid comes from property taxes, Starzak said she will support capping property taxes based on family income. She said she hopes this will take the burden off local families, and push the government to take more responsibility for supporting schools.
Starzak is not the only candidate who is making school funding a priority.
Her opponent, incumbent Republican State Sen. Tom Libous says in a statement that he's fought hard to increase school aid. He added this year's budget includes the biggest school aid package ever, and nearly twice the aid originally proposed by Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo.