FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statewide School Finance Consortium Responds to Board of Regents Proposal to Change NYS Education Aid Formula

SSFC applauds Board of Regents condemnation of the current state aid formula as “wrong”; this bold action is a first step toward the establishment of equity for all school communities 

 

CONTACT:   

      

Margaret McCormick: 315-373-8047

Dr. Rick Timbs: rtimbs@statewideonline.org

 

East Syracuse, NY (December 14, 2011) The Statewide School Finance Consortium (SSFC) extends its support of the principles and initial recommendations laid-out in the 2012-13 Proposal on State Aid to School Districts released by the Board of Regents this week – and now calls on the Governor and Legislature to take similar steps to remedy inequities in state aid distribution.

 

“Everyone who has studied state aid knows there are gross inequities in aid cuts and in the distribution of aid to school districts.  Clearly the Board of Regents have indicated that this system is just plain wrong,’’ said SSFC Executive Director, Dr. Rick Timbs.

 

“This is a great first step in the right direction.  However, it does not make up for the loss of billions of dollars of promised state support to schools over the last few years,’’ Timbs stated. “The Regents proposal sets the stage for the Governor and Legislature to propose additional ideas and solutions to address inequities in public school funding,” Timbs concluded.

 

The Regents proposal recommends channeling 73 percent of new state aid to low wealth/high needs school districts. Key recommendations supported by the SSFC include:

Š      Elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which unfairly denies appropriate state aid to low wealth districts in favor of wealthy districts.

 

Š      Changes to the Foundation Aid formula that distributes aid based on a district’s need and capacity to sustain a viable educational system.

 

Š      Ramp up the role of BOCES as a regional leader and provider of educational and other key services.

 

Š      Articulates the need for significant mandate relief as a cost control mechanism.

 

To read the Regents 2012-13 Proposal on State Aid to School Districts, click HERE:  Regents State Aid Proposal

 

Direct Link to Regents report:  http://www.statewideonline.org/forms/ Regents 2012-13 State Aid Proposal 12-12-11.pdf

 

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SSFC Executive Director Dr. Rick Timbs is available to speak with reporters and editors. Contact him at rtimbs@statewideonline.org or call Margaret McCormick at 315-373-8047 to arrange an interview.

 

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The Statewide School Finance Consortium (SSFC) is an organization of nearly 360 New York public school districts whose mission is to bring equity to the distribution of New York State educational aid. SSFC membership is largely comprised of school districts from average and low-wealth communities that receive a disproportionate share of state funding in comparison to high-wealth regions of New York. The reform of the state aid process will help ensure that all of New York’s children receive the same educational opportunities regardless of the wealth or location of their community.     

Please visit SSFC at www.statewideonline.org