At a time when expenditures continue to rise beyond the district’s control and federal COVID funds are set to expire, any loss of school funding poses significant challenges for our district and will have far-reaching implications for students, staff and our entire education system. Adequate funding is crucial for providing quality education, maintaining school facilities, supporting teachers and ensuring a well-rounded learning experience for students.

The almost 18%, or nearly $9 million, reduction in state aid proposed by Governor Hochul could mean catastrophic, long-lasting results for our school system. When schools face funding cuts, it often leads to a reduction in resources, extracurricular programs and support services, as well as the potential for building closures. The varying changes in state funding allocations can also disproportionately impact schools, exacerbating educational inequalities. Steep reductions such as the one proposed will not only require reductions to staffing, but also increased workloads, larger class sizes and the elimination of essential educational opportunities — all pillars of strength that our district has prided itself on providing.

Advocacy for increased and equitable school funding, such as what is being done today, is essential to addressing these issues. It involves raising awareness about the importance of investing in education, engaging with policymakers and working collaboratively to find sustainable solutions. The goal is to ensure that every student, regardless of their background or which school district they reside in, has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for future success.

It is essential that the governor reconsider her plan to end the “hold harmless” provision, under which schools are provided levels of state funding commensurate with the previous year’s allotment.

This is a crucial matter that requires concerted efforts to advocate for increased and equitable funding to support the needs of students and maintain the integrity of the education system.

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Date Added: 1/19/2024