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Supporting Our Schools: NYSASBO Task Force releases Foundation Aid Study and recommendations

Supporting Our Schools:

NYSASBO Task Force releases

Foundation Aid Study and recommendations

The New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) Foundation Aid Task Force today released a detailed study of Foundation Aid and a series of recommendations to revise the state aid formula. The recommendations are intended as a first step in the important budget making conversation that will continue into the spring.

Michael J. Borges, NYSASBO Executive Director said, “Our Task Force recommendations provide a guide to changing the state aid conversation from restoring cuts to improving the formula to provide an education system where all students have the opportunity for success.”

 

Suzanne Slack, Task Force member and Chief Financial Officer of the Syracuse City School District said, “The Task Force’s recommendations recognize the higher costs involved in educating students in poverty and others with special needs, such as English language learners.”

The Task Force recommendations for the 2017 legislative session are arranged according to three driving goals essential to success: Equity, Adequacy and Stability.

 

Goal 1: The aid formula should be equitable.  It should use current, accurate and fair adjustments for student needs based on limited English proficiency, disability and a more accurate measure of poverty such as eligibility for public assistance. State aid should adjust for the wealth of the school district with special attention for those districts with the least ability to pay.

 

Goal 2: The aid formula should be adequate to provide all students in all districts the opportunity for success. The Successful Schools study used for the 2007 formula should be updated to include districts with high numbers of disadvantaged students in its standard for “success,” and should utilize more measures including graduation rates and achievement growth. In particular, the study should assess the cost of successfully educating English Language Learners and unaccompanied minors entering New York schools, as these populations are growing rapidly.

 

Goal 3: The aid formula should be stable and predictable to allow school districts to do long-term financial and instructional planning. The state should commit to full phase-in of the Foundation Aid formula with cost study updates at regular intervals.  With annual inflationary increases in between studies, the funding formula will be sustainable into the future.

 

The Task Force examined New York’s Foundation Aid formula in depth: its goals and major components, and how to realize the maximum potential of the state school funding system.  In its work the Task Force studied the cost of providing a sound basic education, appropriate weightings for students needing extra time and help, equalizing aid for the ability to raise revenues locally, accountability, regional cost differences, local share, and phasing in the formula and sustaining it in future years. 

The Task Force is composed of school finance leaders representative of the state’s diverse school districts and met throughout the year to prepare this series of recommendations.  The study can be found here.

 

NYSASBO Foundation Aid Task Force

Jennifer Bolton Carls, Otsego Northern Catskill BOCES         Joe Dragone, Roslyn Union Free School District

Lisa Green, Auburn City School District                               Tim Hilker, Saratoga City School District

Adam Hotaling, Troy City School District                              Karl Keil, Camden Central School District

Lisa Kyer, Lansingburgh Central School District                    Michele Levings, Questar III BOCES

Kimberly Lewis, Schenectady City School District                  Lauren Poehlman, Rochester City Schools

Kate Skahen, Syracuse City School District                           Suzanne Slack, Syracuse City School District

Matt Stevens, Fairport Central School District                         Gerry Stuitje, Sweet Home Central Schools

Doug Tomandl, Weedsport Central School District                  Mike Vespi, Fayetteville-Manlius SchoolDistrict

Cynthia Wambold, Broome-Tioga BOCES

 

 

 

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