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