New York senators, SSFC address unfair distribution of educational state aid

NORWICH – A group of 17 New York senators – including the 52nd district’s Thomas Libous and 51st district’s James Seward – recently banded together in an effort to bring the inequitable distribution of school aid to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attention.

On Monday, Norwich City School District Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan shared the senators’ letter to the governor with members of the school board.

The letter states that while “remarkable strides” have been made over the past year, the state will face “many new challenges” in the months and years to come. One of those challenges, wrote the senators, involves the state’s distribution practices as it concerns state aid and education.

“We were pleased to partner with you in committing to a significant increase in state education aid in the coming fiscal year,” wrote the group. “While all schools can and will benefit from this increased funding, we would like to call your attention to the unique needs of the low-wealth, rural schools that we represent.”

Last week, the Statewide School Finance Consortium – an organization of more than 350 public school districts across the state, including those located in Chenango County – commended Cuomo for addressing the needs of public education in his State of the State message. In November, SSFC Executive Director Dr. Rick Timbs met with members of the Chenango County School Boards Association to discuss what he called long-standing disparities in state aid.

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