Financial Equity and Foundation Aid for Port Chester!

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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 children 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 nearly $200 million dollars over thirteen years at a time when costs have risen and our enrollment has grown 23% (1,025 new students).
Port Chester is a high needs district. 71.3% of our students qualify for Free and Reduced lunch and 31% require ELL services.
Port Chester will receive only 58.67% of its rightful Foundation Aid allocation for 2020-21. 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 costs, limited athletic offerings and contests, reduced club offerings, limited Advanced Placement course options, curtailed our planned International Baccalaureate program expansion, and postponed critical technology upgrades. Our community has stepped up, funding a $79.5 million dollar bond project to deal with the ever-growing shortage of instructional 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 2020-2021 budget cycle and beyond by instituting the equitable distribution of Foundation Aid to our school district.