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
members to a
filing in a
with the NYS
impact of the
of the NYS
(aka State Aid)
that the Dept.
the State of New
COMPLAINT Schenectady City
Schools receive 54%
of the aid to which
we are entitled.
We are shortchanged
Support of Equitable School Funding The Board of Education approved a
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
Read the Daily Gazette Article
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.
YNN - September 18 2013
Complaints about school funding YNN
reporter Erin Connolly interviews
Schenectady High School senior Erick
Campos and Superintendent Larry Spring
23 2013 Supt. Spring makes
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
State Aid Inequities Since Schenectady is one of the
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
aidthat 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.
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
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
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.