Fund Port Chester's Foundation Aid Now!
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Dear Legislators and Educational Leaders:
As residents of the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District, we call upon you to provide equitable Foundation Aid funding to our District.
Foundation Aid was established to ensure that all students receive their constitutionally guaranteed right to a sound and basic education regardless of their zip code. The failure to adhere to the original 2007-08 Foundation Aid formula has cut our state aid by more than $190 million over twelve years at a time when costs have risen and our enrollment has grown more than 800 students.
Port Chester is a high needs district. 70% of our students qualify for Free and Reduced lunch and 29% require ELL services.
Port Chester will receive only 45.08% of its rightful Foundation Aid allocation for 2018-2019. To deal with reductions in funding and increased enrollment we have significantly increased class sizes, eliminated elementary school librarians and art teachers, eliminated our strings music program, cut reading, computer education and 10 class size reduction teachers, reduced or eliminated extended-day and summer programs, redistricted students to save on transportation and address overcrowding, limited athletic offerings and contests, reduced club offerings, limited Advanced Placement course options, and postponed critical technology upgrades. Due to 2018-19 funding shortfalls we were forced to cancel a rental space used to house 12 classrooms for more than 300 children. This resulted in increased class sizes and a loss of elementary library spaces.
Substantial cuts to programs and taxpayer stress could have been avoided if we had received equitable funding since 2007-08. We request that New York State remediate this inequity for the 2019-2020 budget cycle and beyond by instituting the equitable distribution of Foundation Aid to our school district.
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