Save BOCES and Other Key Education Programs
As a constituent who cares deeply about quality public education, I am writing to ask you to oppose the executive budget proposal that merges 10 expense-based aids (BOCES, special services, high tax, charter school transitional, textbook, school library materials, computer software, computer hardware and technology, supplemental public excess cost and academic enhancement) into Foundation Aid.
The proposed collapsing of these 10 expense-based aids into Foundation Aid would negatively impact the resources that school districts, including the Big 5 (NYC, Yonkers, Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester) could provide to students and severely damage and curtail BOCES programs and services statewide.
The executive budget proposal essentially eliminates BOCES Aid and Special Services Aid in future years. This proposal invalidates the current formulas while appearing to increase Foundation Aid. This is problematic since in future years, as school districts purchase more BOCES services and programs and additional students enroll in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the Big 5 and non-component districts, they will not qualify for any additional state aid.
Without this aid, school districts already constrained by the property tax cap would have to drastically change the educational services they offer. The elimination of these aids would seriously erode CTE programs in our state, especially in rural areas where there is often a lack of CTE capacity.
BOCES and the Big 5 school districts offer hundreds of successful CTE programs that students can choose from. These programs are created in conjunction with various businesses and prepare students for a career in emerging and established industries such the technology sector, the green economy, the audio/visual field, communications, architecture, automotive and aviation repair, finance, science, technology, engineering and construction just to name a few.
I urge you to reject the executive budget proposal to merge and subsequently eliminate these 10 expense-based aids into Foundation Aid.
I ask that you, your conference and your leadership reject this harmful proposal. I thank you for your consideration of these important issues. I would appreciate a reply to my correspondence.
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