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Inequities in Funding

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January 30 2013

Superintendent talks to Governor's staff about state aid inequities
Conversations continue

Superintendent Larry Spring met with members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff Monday afternoon to discuss concerns about the inequities of State Aid distribution.  As you probably know, Supt. Spring has been relentlessly advocating for Schenectady which is only getting 54% of full funding amount, while other districts, some much wealthier, are receiving 100% and more of their funding.  While Spring did not leave the meeting with resolution, he was pleased that he is invited to return to discuss the matter further.  The Governor’s staff also agreed to look further into the $3.8 million penalty the district was slapped with in response to a technical error in a legal ad regarding transportation years back.   

The Governor released his proposed spending plan a little more than a week ago.  While Supt. Spring is grateful for the proposed $3 million increase in aid, he said the picture still is not fair and Schenectady continues to get short-changed.  He felt it necessary to meet with the Governor’s office and to point out that not only are poorer districts getting the short end of the stick, but also that districts that have a high concentration of minority students are receiving lower levels of funding.  Both of these apply to the Schenectady City School District. 

Spring pointed to the state aid formula, explained to the Governor’s staff how it is unfair and suggested that the formula be closely reviewed and changed.  He has recently also met with Senator Farley and Assemblymen Steck and Santabarbara.   

Spring said he is encouraged that the Governor’s office will explore the $3.8 million in transportation aid and hopes that they will help to restore those funds.  “I’m pleased that they are looking into that and might be able to help us,” said Spring.  “Yes, that would be a huge help.”  The superintendent does point out that even if the transportation funds are released, the district still faces a huge hole. 

“The funding formula is a problem that probably can’t be solved overnight,” said Spring.  “But, it is a huge problem that I’m hoping will be addressed,” and insists that he will not give up. 

Spring said he looks forward to the next meeting to discuss more about the funding formula. 

In the interim, he said he will continue to fight the fight and encourages others to contact our elected officials to express their concerns about the inequities in State Aid.

For more information on the State Aid Picture, please go here.