Advocacy for NYS School Aid
To: LaFayette CSD School Community
From: Jeremy Belfield, Superintendent of Schools - firstname.lastname@example.org 315-529-9550 (cell)
Date: February 19, 2021
RE: NYS School Aid Proposal for 2021-2022
Dear LaFayette School Community:
Governor Andrew Cuomo released the NYS School Aid proposal for 2021-2022. While we all recognize the challenges that families, state governments, and businesses are facing, we know that supporting students and families is a key element to helping our community recover from this devastating year.
Please feel free to copy and paste the following message below to the elected officials that represent our school community. We need your help advocating for adequate funding for our students and schools. Thank you for taking the time to send the message below to our elected officials:
NYS Senator John Mannion: email@example.com
NYS Senator Rachel May: firstname.lastname@example.org
NYS Assemblymember Pam Hunter: email@example.com
NYS Assemblymember John Lemondes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Elected Officials:
Thank you for all that you have done to prioritize the safety of New Yorkers and support the ongoing fight against the spread of disease in our community. We were grateful for your support last Spring in supporting the educational and nutritional needs of students in our school communities. While schools were closed last March, school leaders, staff members and school communities worked together to provide continued learning to our students. Schools distributed electronic learning devices, mobile hotspots to students without Internet service, and provided meals to students. We appreciate your support in allowing the safe return of students to our school facilities while also connecting with our digital learners who are learning from home.
As you look ahead to next year, our schools need your continued support to provide the resources necessary for students and staff. I ask for your support with the following:
Increase foundation aid. The Governor’s proposal freezes foundation aid for the second year in a row. Currently, foundation aid is under funded by over $4 billion dollars to NYS schools.
Continue to fund categorical aids, such as BOCES, Transportation, Computer Hardware/Software, etc., at current funding formulas.
Provide increased support to help schools address the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students and families. This pandemic has been hard on students and families in a number of ways. In order to achieve a full recovery from what has been an incredibly challenging and difficult time for many, we need increased support for mental health services (counseling staff, access to wrap around care, etc.).
Provide adequate funding for addressing the facility needs at the Onondaga Nation School. The Governor has allocated limited funding over the last decade to schools that serve Native American students in New York State. The Onondaga Nation School has had two building condition surveys completed over the last decade which both indicate a need for $25 million in renovations and upgrades. Based on the limited allocation of funds, the Onondaga Nation School, which is a state owned asset of the New York State Education Department, is forced to wait for building systems to fail completely before making necessary upgrades or replacements. Currently the state is holding on to projects to replace the out-dated fire alarm, exterior doors, and necessary upgrades to the camera and security system due to limited funding.
Thank you for your continued support of our students and school communities during this challenging time.