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Spring: State aid is discriminatory

Federal complaint claims ‘white’ districts get more

Buses park outside the Fine Arts Wing at Schenectady High School after school on April 9.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Buses park outside the Fine Arts Wing at Schenectady High School after school on April 9.
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When state education aid is doled out each year, it’s better to have white students than black and Hispanic students, alleges a complaint by the Schenectady City School District. In the next few weeks, Schenectady schools Superintendent Laurence Spring plans to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, arguing the state’s funding for education is discriminatory because districts with a majority of minority students receive a smaller portion of the ...

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November 2, 2013
7:29 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Get rid of the teachers unions and the schools will be able to operate at full capacity for about half of the money.

November 2, 2013
9:13 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Whatever happened to the "Campaign for Fiscal Equity"? Had a lot of steam close to 10 years ago, regarding the formulas for figuring state aid, based on a lot more than just race. They won a lawsuit somewhere down the line, and then just seemed to drop off the face of the earth...

Not just unions, wmarincic, tenure has got to go as well.

November 2, 2013
1:37 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The Campaign For Fiscal Equity was successful and resulted in the Contract For Excellence in 2007. But that increased funding was then lost to The Gap Elimination Adjustment.
Former Gov. David Paterson introduced the GEA in 2010. It was supposed to be a temporary solution to closing the state's $10 billion budget deficit. It essentially spreads out some of the state's fiscal shortfall among all school districts by reducing the amount of Foundation Aid the state is supposed to pay the districts. So schools actually get funding on one budget line and then have it deducted on a subsequent GEA line. The GEA is much more detrimental to poorer districts whose budgets are based on a higher percentage of state funding. Schenectady's school budget shortfall has usually been almost exactly equal to its share of GEA.
While the CFE, passed by the legislature in reaction to the ruling, did help poor school districts it did so by increasing funding for all districts instead of moving funding from richer (mostly downstate) districts to poorer (mostly upstate and western NY) districts.

November 2, 2013
3:22 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I am so impressed with Mr Spring ! He is a true advocate for Schdy kids! And he is right on ! Just look at the disparity btwn Nisky/Schdy ! Its outrageous! and right next door! Frankly, I would like to see a grand experiment and swap half the kids from each school and see what happens- would the rich kids suddenly do poorer? Would the deprived kids thrive? Is it the teachers or is it truly an impoverished environment that effects learning? hmmmmm...What if you swapped all the teachers for one year? hmmmmm???
Unions/tenure as the problem? don't know- MA spends less per student with same union protections and better results...why? whats different there?