Chenango school boards warned of dangers in funding inequalties

NORWICH – Funding inequality among New York State school districts was thrust into the spotlight Friday when the Chenango County School Board Association gathered at the BOCES Norwich campus for its annual meeting.

The event featured keynote speaker Dr. Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium and retired district superintendent of the Erie Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES in Western New York. According to Timbs, school finance inequality is a long tale of skewed apportions in New York that has ultimately led to wealthy districts getting more state funding while poorer districts like those in Chenango County struggle.

The 16 schools that encompass the DCMO BOCES were represented at the gathering, where Timbs’ message was clear: “There are districts that are nine times wealthier than you and even growing their programs while you struggle because the current state (school funding) formula doesn’t work,” he said. “It is a formula for disaster ... I see a ticking clock going backward. I see a time bomb toward collapsing school districts.”

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