Funding by Building
As a constituent who cares deeply about quality public education in New York State, I urge you to oppose the provisions in this year's executive budget proposal that would require school districts to pit children in different schools against each other or risk losing their Foundation Aid increase.
This proposal, which is based on school reporting language that was enacted two years ago, does not address the real issue that many school districts are facing — a lack of adequate funding. On average, only 37 percent of a school district's budget comes from the state. The fiscal issues that many districts are facing are largely due to the property tax cap and the state not fully funding Foundation Aid.
This proposal is not in the best interests of our children and diminishes a community's control over their schools. Decisions affecting my local schools should stay local. Therefore, I ask you to advocate for the removal of provisions from the executive budget proposal that would reallocate Foundation Aid increases based on irrelevant data.
School spending varies from building to building for a variety of reasons including the special education program in each school, the size of the school, other programs and services and staff seniority. School districts do not allocate a dollar amount to each building; rather they allocate resources in an attempt to meet the needs of children in that school. Sadly, the state is still underfunding schools by nearly $3.4 billion through their failure to fully fund Foundation Aid. Most of those funds are owed to high-need school districts. The state should focus its efforts on properly funding our schools rather than trying to divide high-need communities.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I respectfully ask that you raise this issue in conference and with your leadership. I would greatly appreciate a reply to my letter.
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