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Dear Averill Park community members:

The Governor’s executive budget proposal would have a devastating impact on our school district. Averill Park Central School District would lose $159,293 in funding due to the Governor’s proposed changes to Foundation Aid.

The Governor is proposing to do away with “hold harmless” or “save harmless,” a long-standing provision that provided districts with aid no less than what they are currently receiving. She is also proposing an adjustment to how the state calculates inflation that takes a 10-year average and drops the highest and lowest years rather than using the actual calculated consumer price index (CPI) from the previous calendar year as current law states.

Our school district, like many across the state, relies heavily on state aid. In fact, it currently makes up 27.57 percent of our revenue. The other main source of revenue for the district is taxes from our community.  The Governor’s proposed budget, therefore, attempts to shift more of the burden of funding education from the state to the local taxpayer, which is something the Board of Education and I strongly oppose.

This coupled with the loss of federal stimulus funding and increased student needs would potentially result in cuts and reductions including, but not limited to, increased class size, less intervention services for struggling learners, and a decreased number of electives.

We respectfully ask our public officials to reject the Governor’s proposal to Foundation Aid. We do not understand the logic for making this change considering the state’s financial standing, and the increased needs of our students locally and across the state.

We also advocate for the state to provide funding to study Foundation Aid so that the state can create a funding formula that is more equitable and predictable for school districts across the state. The state has avoided addressing this issue for far too long.

If you’d like to get involved in advocating for the district, please reach out to our elected officials by phone or email.

Dr. James Franchini
Averill Park Central School District