Potsdam Central Advocacy Information

THE FIGHT FOR OUR SCHOOLS IS NOT OVER!!  WE NEED TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD!

 

Potsdam Central School District has approximately one full year left in “savings” that can maintain programs, more or less, at current levels.  After that if the state aid situation does not improve, programs and courses will be cut and class sizes will rise dramatically.  For the 2013-14 school year, our district is anticipating a $1.5 million dollar deficit.

 

Efforts will continue this year to work towards more equitable funding of our schools.  Last year through advocacy and letter writing, we were able to secure an extra $100,000 in “bullet aid” in our state aid package.  While this may seem like a lot, $100,000 amounts to 0.4% of PCS’s total budget, and approximately 7% of the state aid gap our district experienced last year.  To put the situation in perspective:

 

1.  In 2008, state aid to schools was cut and state aid was frozen.  To close the deficit at the state level, districts have also been subject to a “Gap Elimination Adjustment”.  Last year, $804 million dollars was redirected into state aid.  This is 30% of what was originally cut, while costs have continued to rise.

 

2.  Since 2008, loss in state aid to PCS coupled with rising costs has led to a 10% annual deficit in the school budget, or about $2 million dollars annually.  This doesn’t seem like much, until you consider that PCS receives 48% of its operating budget from state aid.

 

3.  8% of our budget this year came from using district “savings” to maintain programs.  We cannot make up the difference like wealthier districts through property taxes. If Potsdam were to offset annual reductions in aid, maintain current programs, and use no savings, property taxes would have to increase by 23%.  Wealthy downstate districts that do not rely as heavily on state aid would only need to raise property taxes 2% to make up the difference.

 

4.  Cuts in state aid over the last 4 years have led to significant decreases in staff district wide, including 18.5 teacher positions and 27.2 support staff positions (including classroom aides, lunch monitors, library staff, and office staff, among others).

 

Your voice matters, and our schools need your help.  We are asking for no more than has been promised to our children by the constitution of the State of New York: a sound, basic education.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

 

TAKE ACTION ASAP!  THE GOVERNOR IS PREPARING HIS BUDGET NOW!!

Call on the Governor to lead the state in reforming inequitable state aid formulas (New York is in the bottom 5 in equity of funding) and save schools facing insolvency (35-40 districts this year; close to 300 within 2 years)

 

Call for State Legislators and the Governor to:

Eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment that dramatically cuts state aid to poorer districts

Introduce and support legislation to fix the funding formula and fund schools sufficiently

Spread the word!  Ask your neighbors and fellow community members to call on state leaders to stop policies that balance the budget on the backs of poor and middle class students and to promote reform that transforms New York into a national leader in school funding equity.

Consider hosting a Messaging Party (details at http://www.fairfundingforstudents.org )

Check out AQE`s Educate NY Now Campaign at http://www.educatenewyorknow.org

SIGN THE PETITION to fix the formula and PASS IT ON (see link at http://www.fairfundingforstudents.org)

 

FOR MORE DETAILS, SAMPLE LETTERS AND CONTACT INFO, SEE WWW.FAIRFUNDINGFORSTUDENTS.ORG

 

 

 

Governor’s Office: CONTACT PRIORITY 1

 

Legislators

CONTACT PRIORITY 2

 

Community

Governor of New York State

Andrew M. Cuomo

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Phone:(518) 474-8390

118th District Assembly Member Addie Jenne Russell RussellA@assembly.state.ny.us:

Legislative Office Bldg, Rm 325 Albany, NY 12248

Phone: (518) 455-5545

Neighbors and friends
 

De`Shawn Wright, Deputy Secretary of Education

Executive Chambers

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Phone:(518) 474-8390

 

State Senator – 48th Senatorial District Patricia A. Ritchie patty@pattyritchie.net

Legislative Office Building, Room 815 Albany, NY 12247

Phone: 518-455-3438

Fax: 518-426-6740

 

Civic organizations that you belong to

 

Katie Campos, Assistant Secretary of Education

Executive Chambers

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Phone: 518-474-0801

 

State Senator – 47th Senatorial District Joseph A. Griffo

griffo@nysenate.gov

188 State Street Room 612, Legislative Office Building

Albany, NY 12247

Phone: (518) 455-3334

Fax: (518) 426-6921

 

Local news outlets – Letters to the editor or cc: them on letters to elected officials, or email news divisions

(Plaindealer, Daily Courier Observer, Advance, Watertown Daily Times, North Country Now, YNN, News Channel 7)

 

Lisa Timoney, Division of

Budget: Education and the Arts

State Capitol

Albany, NY 12224-0341

Phone: 518-474-6303

 

State Senator-2nd Senate District

Chairman of the Senate Standing

Committee on Education

John Flanagan

flanagan@nysenate.gov

Room 805 Legislative Office Building

Albany, NY 12247

Phone: 518-455-2071

Fax: 518-426-6904

 

37th District Assembly Member

Education Committee Chair

Catherine T. Nolan

NolanC@assembly.state.ny.us

NY State Assembly Room 836

Phone: 518-455-4851

Fax: 518-455-3847

Albany, NY 12248

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s