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INEQUITIES in STATE AID

News:  DECEMBER 02 2014
U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights will investigate SCSD claim of school funding discrimination  More

 
 
ADVOCATE FOR OUR FAIR SHARE

Letter 1 Act Now     

Letter 2  Senator Farley


Information Package

Why should you advocate?

Elected Officials  Contact Info.


Talking Points

Financial Aid Picture

Chart of local school districts/funding percentages

Chart of NYS Schools Percentage Distribution of State Aid

Combined Wealth Ratio

EducationSpeaks

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OPINION EDITORIAL - LARRY SPRING
THE BUFFALO NEWS  AUGUST 31 2014
LARRY SPRING OPINION EDITORIAL

Cuomo must use state surplus to remedy separate and unequal education system  Read
DAILY GAZETTE  AUGUST 24 2014
LARRY SPRING OPINION EDITORIAL
School aid formula still discriminates

 
PER PUPIL SPENDING - 2014
Click on the image to see where Schenectady stands compared to all other districts in NYS when it comes to per pupil spending.


BUDGET HISTORY - 2009-PRESENT
Schenectady Budgeting History   
DISCRIMINATION
CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT
 
  • JULY 21 2014
    Civil Rights Complaint now in the hands of DOJ More
  • Capitol Pressroom
    Superintendent Spring on Capitol Pressrom on Nov. 14 regarding Civil Rights Complaint
     Listen Here





  • APRIL 23 2014  PRESS RELEASE
    OCR dismisses Sch'dy Schools' Civil Rights complaint  Next:  Complaint to be filed with U.S. Department of Justice  READ RELEASE

 

  • DECEMBER 16 2013
    Civil Rights Complaint is in the hands of the Federal Government
    MORE


 










 
READ THE ENTIRE COMPLAINT 
 
 
  • DECEMBER 12 2013
    Superintendent Spring will hand-deliver the Civil Rights Complaint to the U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights on Friday!
      MORE
 
November 5, 2013 - Meeting was held:

Superintendent Spring is inviting all school and community members to a very important meeting regarding the Civil Rights Complaint that the district is filing in a couple weeks with the NYS Dept. of Justice.  Schools that have higher concentrations of minority students are disparately impacted. 

The complaint addresses the discriminatory impact of the current implementation of the NYS Foundation Aid (aka State Aid) and requests that the Dept. of Justice investigate the complaint, recognize the discriminatory impact, order the State of New York to distribute aid in a non-discriminatory manner and provide the district sufficient resources to provide adequate & appropriate English Language Learner (ELL) services.

 READ THE ENTIRE COMPLAINT 

Schenectady City Schools receive 54% of the aid to which we are entitled.    We are shortchanged $62 million annually.

Additional Information regarding the "Inequities in State Aid "         

PRINT FLYER

Resolution in Support of Equitable School Funding
The Board of Education approved a resolution (See resolution) that supports filing a complaint with the United Stated Department of Justice to promote equitable school funding that complies with New York State’s constitutional mandate and every student’s right to a sound basic and quality education under state and federal law.

Spring said he expects the complaint to be filed by October 11, 2013.  The complaint is being filed around the same time as Middletown School District, whose board will also consider a resolution this week.

 
Daily Gazette, January 11, 2013
Spring:  State aid racially imbalanced  
School districts with many minority students are getting less of the state aid they are supposed to receive than districts with mostly white students, according to Schenectady City School District Superintendent Laurence Spring. Read the Daily Gazette Article

http://www.educationspeaks.org

 
CONVERSATIONS
Capitol Pressroom
Supt. Spring was a guest on Capitol Pressroom on January 28. 
He and Rick Timbs of Statewide School Finance Consortium talk about the lack of funding in education.  Listen Here  [Timestamp 23:30 minutes]
 
NYSSBA, ON BOARD - SEPTEMBER 23 2013
New legal challenges for state aid
New York’s system for distributing school aid is about to come under renewed challenge this fall from small city school districts, including a claim of unlawful discrimination based on race READ STORY
 

YNN - September 18 2013
Complaints about school funding  
YNN reporter Erin Connolly interviews Schenectady High School senior Erick Campos and Superintendent Larry Spring  Watch here  

HAMILTON 6TH GRADER CALL MEETING WITH SUPERINTENDENT SPRINGJune 19 2013
Hamilton 6th grader upset over funding inequities & discrimination, calls for meeting with the superintendent More
 
RECENT CONVERSATIONS  (June 2013)
Superintendents meet to discuss disparate impact & possible civil rights complaint  Read More Here
 
January 30, 2013  
Update:  Meeting with Governor's staff

Superintendent talks to Governor's staff about state aid inequities
Conversations continue
 
January 22 2013
Superintendent Spring appears on
Schenectady Today January 22 to talk about State Aid and the budget.  (FF ---> 13:43)

  
 
 
 
ADVOCACY EVENT & PETITION
  • Thank you
    Thank you to all of our students, parents, staff & community members who signed the Petition  calling for "Our Fair Share."
  • Thank you to all who attended the "Inequities in State Aid" SCSD Information & Advocacy Night.  Please continue to advocate and help Schenectady get our fair share!   Advocacy Information Package
 
 
STATE BUDGET PROPOSALS

JANUARY 2014
Governor's Budget Proposal -
  Funding Inequities Continue
      

January 23 2013
Supt. Spring makes call-to-action

Gov. Cuomo's Budget Proposal Increases SCSD School Aid by $3m  
 
Additional aid helps bridge budget gap but not enough ..... not even close  
Read More
Poor District, Poorly Funded

State Aid Inequities
Since Schenectady is one of the poorest school districts in New York State, and has the 13th highest concentration of childhood poverty in the nation, many might think that the district would be a high priority when it comes to distribution of state aid.   

The fact is that Schenectady receives only about one half (54%) of the aid that the district should be receiving by law.  What is more troubling is that Schenectady is receiving the lowest percentage of necessary aid in the area and among the lowest around the state.  All of the districts in the capital region are being funded at rates of 62%-110%.  The Schenectady City School District is at the bottom of the list

“This is unacceptable, completely unacceptable,” said Schenectady City School District Superintendent Larry Spring, who continues to express anger and frustration over the financial aid picture.  “It is the students and the residents of our community who pay for this and it’s wrong.”  Along with the millions of dollars in cuts, which only hurt students, our residents’ taxes continue to increase in order to make up the difference. 

Schenectady is being short-changed a lot of money - - about $62 million annually.  Aside from not getting full funding, Spring said compared to many other districts in the state, Schenectady’s current level of funding is unfair.  He is urging lawmakers to explore a more equitable means to distribute the state aid.  “Something is wrong with this picture,” said Spring.  

While Schenectady is receiving only 54% of complete aid, 138 districts are receiving 100% or more of their aid without due consideration given to poverty or fiscal capacity.  The amount of money being overpaid to districts totals about $126 million.  “Tell me, how is it that Schenectady is getting less than 55%?” he asks. 

New York State law determines what schools should be getting in aid in order to provide a “sound basic education.”  The median percentage of aid that districts throughout the state are receiving in relationship to their total aid amount is 82%.  Schenectady, the 6th poorest district in the state, is receiving 54%.  While the legislature has developed a plan to phase in the additional aid to all districts so they eventually receive 100%, it would take 58 years for Schenectady to receive the full funding due. 

Spring stresses, that in light of the current financial crisis throughout the state, he is not pleading with lawmakers to increase the pot of state aid money.  He is not asking for more from taxpayers.  He is suggesting that state aid money be distributed more equitably so that districts receive their fair share. 

According to Spring, the overall budget picture in Schenectady would change significantly if the district received just the median percentage of full funding.  At 82% of  $135 million, Schenectady would receive $38 million more.  It’s still not the total aid due, but it’s a significant increase.  The increase would certainly be more equitable and would close the approximately $9 million budget gap that the district is looking at for 2013-2014 without any program or staff cuts.  “We should be talking about coming up with interventions to help all of our children get to standard, not talking about what we will take away,” said Spring.  “If we were getting what we should be getting, what is fair, that would be happening.” 

After doing some calculations, Spring figured that if the district received the additional $38 million, not only would the students benefit, but so would Schenectady’s taxpayers.  Spring said the district would give about $18 million back to the taxpayers.  “They have supported us and demonstrated how valuable education is to our community,” he said.  “We would have the ability to support our children’s educational needs and at the same time give money back.” 

Spring said that the entire school community needs to talk about this and put pressure on law makers.  “We need to let them know that the way the school aid is distributed is not fair and we will not tolerate it,” he said.  “We need all of your voices on this.” 

Attached are some charts that support the information above.  While it can be somewhat complicated to understand and explain, the superintendent is more than happy to talk about it and provide clarification at anytime. 

Attached is a list of elected officials who can help with our efforts for equitable funding.  Please call or write to demand change.

Superintendent Spring can be reached at 518-370-8100 X40107.

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