Thursday, 21 March 2024 13:38

Schuylerville Schools Sound Alarm Over Projected Revenue Loss

SCHUYLERVILLE — The Schuylerville Central School District (SCSD) is encouraging community members to send letters to local representatives in protest of Governor Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal. The district projects it will lose 17.23% of its foundation aid, leading to a 5.71% overall loss in revenue from the previous school year.

A letter template, posted to the SCSD website, states that the district is “frustrated and disappointed that the executive budget proposal reverses years of progress towards full funding of the Foundation Aid formula by eliminating the hold harmless provision for hundreds of school districts and lowering the inflationary factor.” 

The hold harmless provision would ensure that school districts receive at least the same amount of funding next year as they did the previous year. Hochul intends to get rid of the provision. 

“Now, more than ever, school districts are responsible for providing a variety of supports, services, and opportunities, in addition to academics, grades K-12,” the letter states. “We hope you will see that the proposed foundation cuts come at a time when the state should be supporting schools instead of cutting their funding.” 

Acting Superintendent James Ducharme participated in a roundtable discussion last month about the loss of foundation aid that included members of the New York State United Teachers union, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, and State Senator James Tedisco. 

“What we’re hearing is, we need different pathways, we need different options,” Ducharme told the roundtable attendees. “The only way for a school district, especially a small school district like us, to create those options is through being properly funded through the state.”

Governor Hochul has argued that large foundation aid increases in recent years were an attempt to compensate for past “disinvestments” in education. “You may have gotten $5 million in one year to make up for the past, and if I don’t give you $5 million again, you think it’s a cut?” Hochul said in her budget address earlier this month. “I’m still thinking that’s pretty good. That’s still a lot of money.”

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