Does Funding Formula Shortchange Local Schools?
3/20/2013 (Updated 9:33:51 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
Part of the state's complicated formula that determines how much aid school districts get is called the Income Wealth Index. But local leaders say the problem with the index is that it sets an artificial floor that doesn't truly recognize how poor some districts are and an artificial ceiling that underestimates how rich other districts are.
The result? According to some, poorer, local districts are missing out, while richer districts in other parts of the state are getting more aid than needed.
"Because of that artificial increase in our wealth that's not accurate that costs us $180,000 in aid," said Jason Andrews, Windsor School District Superintendent.
"The smaller the district, the less money you need to actually make a positive impact," said Allen Buyck, Broome-Tioga BOCES Superintendent.
According to the Statewide School Finance Consortium, if the artificial floor and ceiling were removed, Binghamton would get more than $100,000 more in aid, Deposit almost a million more, and Johnson City more than $1.6 million in additional aid.
"We have some districts that could see an indication of an additional $1 million or more if this floor was taken off," said Buyck.
The State Assembly has passed a measure eliminating the minimum from the Income Wealth Index as part of it's budget. Neither the State Senate nor Governor's versions of the budget includes such a change.
"It's part of the three-way negotiations. And if it's not accomplished in this budget we will continue to try to bring a rational approach to the way school aid is distributed in the state," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell).
****In Broome County, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****
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