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Supt. Spring welcomes elected leaders to say 'thank you' and announce impact of significant funding increase

Thank you!
Posted on 05/15/2017
Photo of Supt. Spring and elected leaders at press conference held May 13 2017

Superintendent Larry Spring welcomed Schenectady leaders and elected officials including Senators Jim Tedisco and George Amedore, Assemblymen Angelo Santabarbara and Phil Steck, and Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy on Monday, May 15, 2017, to express gratitude for their continued support and efforts that resulted in Schenectady Schools receiving a significant boost in school aid.  

Over the last several years, the Schenectady City School District has been dramatically underfunded by New York State receiving only between 54 and 60 percent of what the district should be receiving in Foundation Aid.  That’s a shortage of at least $50 million per year.

In 2017-18, the Schenectady City School District will receive a significant hike, to the tune of more than $7 more in Foundation Aid, which does not bring the district even close to be fully funded, but does move the needle.  The funding will not only close the budget gap, but, it also provides for the addition of $5.7 million in programs and services and decreases the tax levy by $1.1 million or 2.04 percent.  

“This is an exciting budget year for us,” said Spring.  “We owe gratitude to many of our community leaders and elected officials, particularly Senators Tedisco and Amedore, Assemblyman Santabarbara, Assemblyman Steck and Mayor McCarthy, for the support that they continue to provide and the work that they are doing to ensure that we receive the funding that is necessary to address the needs of all Schenectady’s learners.”    Spring said the district is also thankful to the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce and many other Schenectady leaders, who are not here today, but, who have been strong advocates for the school district.   

With the 2017-18 budget proposal, Spring said, it’s the first time that the district has the opportunity to take significant steps toward closing the opportunity gap, referencing the development of a continuum of supports and services designed to address the needs of struggling students.  “We are able to take significant strides with our programming and still offer tax relief to Schenectady residents.   “We would not be in this position without the support of these leaders here today,” said Spring.  “Thank you.”

“All of our schools including Schenectady deserve fair funding to provide our children with the kind of education they need and deserve, said Senator Jim Tedisco.  “As a former teacher, guidance counselor, athletic director and coach, I’m proud to have been a driving force in the state Senate this year for a state budget that substantially increased funding to the Schenectady School District by over $15 million and which will help the school add new programs and deliver a 2 percent cut on the property tax levy for residents.  I’m going to continue to fight to fully fund Schenectady and all of our schools.”

“Properly funding our schools remains one of my top priorities, and I was proud to work with my colleagues in the Legislature to secure this long overdue increase in aid for Schenectady Schools in the state budget, said Senator George Amedore.  “With this additional aid, our property taxpayers will see a reduction on their tax bills and the added resources will give the school the ability to expand programs and enrich the educational environment for our students. It’s a win-win.”   

The school district budget proposal includes an addition of 66 positions, 47.6 of which are teachers and clinicians.  Many of the positions in the budget proposal support a General Education Continuum that is designed to identify and provide a systemic pattern of additional supports and interventions to general education students.  It will mirror the supports provided to students with disabilities, offering a broad range of interventions best designed to meet the need of each student.  Respite, integrated and targeted programming at the elementary, middle and high school level are interventions on the continuum. 

With a 2.04 percent decrease to the tax levy, it is estimated that -  based on current information -  taxes on a Schenectady home valued at $100,000 would decrease by at least $100 in 2017.  “We are so pleased to be giving something back to our taxpayers,” added Spring. 

“I would like to thank my Assembly colleagues, especially Speaker Carl Heastie, on helping pass a budget that recognizes the need for property tax relief and investing in public schools, said Assemblyman Phil Steck. “ I will continue to advocate for the full restoration of Foundation Aid so that the Schenectady City School District will be 100% fully funded as provided for in the Foundation Aid promise.”

“It’s critical that we remain committed to strengthening our public education system – our students deserve nothing less,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.  “We must ensure they can reach their full potential, and it’s up to us to make sure that happens.  We need to be their voice, and we are taking action.”

Spring also notes that the partnership between the school district and city is extremely important.  “Our city has taken huge steps forward these last few years,” said Spring.  “We recognize the importance of offering a high quality education and doing our part to provide taxpayer relief.  We appreciate the ongoing support offered by Mayor McCarthy and are proud partners with the mayor and the city of Schenectady.”

 “I am extremely pleased and proud that, both the city and school district, continue to take huge strides forward and are now positioned to offer relief to taxpayers,” said McCarthy.  “With the new casino, increased home sales, success of local business, a thriving downtown – which attracts visitors from all over – we are a city of renaissance.”

McCarthy said that he is encouraged by the increase in school funding for next year which will ensure that more resources and services will be available to students.  “I will continue to advocate for funding equity so that we can ensure that every child in our city will have the tools and resources to be educationally successful,” he added.

The 2017-2018 Budget Proposal also includes a mobile crisis response team, a trauma sensitive institute and a social development redesign to address the needs of the youngest students with severe emotional needs.  

“I am very pleased that we will have the funding to support much needed programs and services that will address the intense mental health, social-emotional and academic needs of many students,” said Spring.  “This is a significant step forward.  I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough, for all of your support.”

In the News

Schenectady School District seeks more funding from state

Albany Times Union- ‎May 15, 2017‎
Despite receiving $7.5 million more in state aid this school year, Schenectady Superintendent of Schools Larry Spring and several Capital Region government officials pledged to continue fighting for even more funding. Assemblyman Phil Steck said ...

Schenectady leaders tout aid increase ahead of school budget vote

The Daily Gazette- ‎May 15, 2017‎
“We believe that a reduction in the tax rate should become the best economic development stimulus that we see in the city,” said Superintendent Larry Spring. “Fund our schools correctly, and you will see the economic development and turnaround happen.”.

Officials Gather In Schenectady To Celebrate Receipt Of Increased School Aid

WAMC- ‎May 15, 2017‎
Superintendent Larry Spring says the extra funding will empower the district to hire more teachers, expand services and roll out new programs. "We're adding some special education services for students who have social and emotional disabilities. We're...

Schenectady school district announces impact of funding increase

WRGB- ‎May 15, 2017‎
SCHENECTADY, NY (WRGB)--Monday, leaders in Schenectady broke down how a boost in funding is going to help students in the schools there. Superintendent Larry Spring says they're hiring more than five dozen new staff members and adding services...

Schenectady schools thankful for increase in state funding

NEWS10 ABC- ‎May 15, 2017‎
This year state lawmakers managed to make the case for Schenectady which resulted in an increase in state foundation aid to the tune of $5.7 million. This still doesn't bring the district close to being fully funded but Superintendent Larry Spring says ...
 

 

 
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