Urge NYS to Fully Fund Foundation Aid

Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
We are asking you to join our latest advocacy effort and help us fight for important state funding that is owed to the Pelham Public Schools. The state legislature and Governor Cuomo must approve a budget by April 1 and the Executive Budget's proposed total aid increase of $1 billion is only half of the Board of Regents' recommendation. It is imperative that New York fully funds the Foundation Aid formula with a save-harmless provision.
Foundation Aid is currently determined by a formula that factors an area's wealth, demographics, and other criteria. If the current formula for Foundation Aid were fully funded, the Pelham Union Free School District would be due nearly $3 million more than what we are projected to receive for the 2017-18 school year. In Westchester and Putnam Counties, 74% of the school districts are still being shortchanged, with six districts receiving less than half the Foundation Aid dollars due to them under full funding.
Student demographics are changing across our region: 38% of the students in Westchester and 22% in Putnam are economically disadvantaged; 15% of the students in Westchester and 3% in Putnam are English Language Learners; and 15% of the students in each county are students with disabilities. The Foundation Aid formula, while not perfect, considers student population and local resources, thereby directing more funds to higher need districts. With a 1.26% tax levy growth factor, our districts must rely on appropriate state funding if they are to meet the needs of every student.
Furthermore, the budget language indicates that the current year will become the new base year, thereby defaulting on the State's responsibility to provide court-ordered state funding levels. School districts need transparency, an adequate, evidence-based formula, and multi-year reliability. Our children deserve better than annual state aid numbers that are contingent on political whims and back-room deals. 
We know we can count on you to appropriately fund public education. You can lend your voice to this fight by following the link below and filling in your contact information. 
Once you submit the form, an e-mail will be sent to our elected officials. Similar efforts to this one have resulted in important changes in Albany. We know we can count on you to fight for funding that will benefit our students.
Thank you for helping us with this effort.

Please Click Here to access the letter:

We also ask you to copy and paste the following text into the 
"Opening Comments" box:

"Funding our schools is essential to equipping our teachers and students with the tools they need to be successful. The most recent projections show that foundation aid for the Pelham Public Schools will be underfunded by nearly 
$3 million."

As always, thank you for your time and for your dedication to our schools and our children.

The Pelham Advocacy Committee & The Pelham Board of Education