Senator Charles E. Schumer today vowed to block an amendment that could lead to devastating funding cuts for K-12 schools in New York by radically changing the federal formula for Title I allocations.
"NYSUT applauds Senator Schumer's efforts to ensure that disadvantaged children in New York are not denied critical funds needed to receive a high-quality public education," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "While there is widespread consensus about the need to end the test and punish system under NCLB, the effort to revamp the current Title I funding formula is motivated more by self-interest rather than on maintaining equity. Instead of creating winners and losers amongst states by manipulating formulas, Congress should be focused on how better to help all states meet the unprecedented issues of poverty they face in schools today to ensure every child has an opportunity to attain a high quality education regardless of the zip code in which they live."
An excerpt of Sen. Schumer's media release follows. You may read the complete statement online at schumer.senate.gov.
SCHUMER: NEW SENATE AMENDMENT TO BE INTRODUCED THIS WEEK WOULD SLASH FUNDING FOR NEW YORK ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS AT OVER 680 DISTRICTS
July 8, 2015
On a conference call with reporters, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched a major push to block any Senate amendment that significantly cuts funding in the Every Child Achieves Act, which the Senate considers on the floor this week. Schumer said this Senate amendment set to be introduced this week would radically change the current formula used to allocate Title I education funds to K-12 schools. These funds are the largest source of federal funding for elementary and secondary education and are key to every state's ability to improve educational opportunities, particularly for children in New York State. Without these funds, Schumer said New York school districts would be financially overwhelmed and unable to provide critical services to students who most need them.
"As a proud product of the New York public school system, I know how great our state's schools can be when given the tools, resources and funding to succeed, so I am dead set against any proposed amendment to abruptly slash funding from New York's public schools. This amendment would take a hatchet to crucial federal funding, which means New York schools could lose out on more than $300 million. This would be a devastating cut that would punish millions of students and teachers across the state, so I will urge my colleagues not to support it and will do all I can to beat it back," said Schumer. "We can't afford to pull the rug out from under our school districts over summer vacation. So I will fight this, and any amendment, tooth and nail to make sure there are no federal education cuts made on the backs of hard-working New York State students, teachers and families."
Schumer outlined just how disastrous these Title I cuts would be for Upstate New York school districts, including the 560 that receive over $117 million to serve children in NY's neediest public schools:
- In the Capital Region, education funding for 81 school districts would be cut by approximately $12,912,000, or 34.55%.
- In Central New York, education funding for 69 school districts would be cut by approximately $14,617,000, or 31.22%.
- In Western New York, education funding for 68 school districts would be cut by approximately $21,373,000, or 32.02%.
- In the Rochester-Finger Lakes, education funding for 69 school districts would be cut by approximately $18,828,000, or 35.57%.
- In the Southern Tier, education funding for 88 school districts would be cut by approximately $10,177,000, or 32.58%.
- In the Hudson Valley, education funding for 103 school districts would be cut by approximately $31,961,000, or 36.5%.
- In the North Country, education funding for 82 school districts would be cut by approximately $7,668,000, or 32.67%.
You may read the complete statement online at schumer.senate.gov.