*Contact info to be updated.
Jeff Gallahan (Assemblyman-elect)
*Contact info to be updated.
Board Seeks Public Support on School Funding
The Phelps-Clifton Springs Board of Education, along with school staff and administrators, is growing increasingly concerned that promised aid payments from 2019-20 and 2020-21, reimbursement aid relating to the pandemic and transportation, and aid for the 2021-22 academic year will be cut.
As a result, the Board of Education established this Advocacy Action Portal, where residents, community members and supporters may download and mail a letter to state and federal officials encouraging the full funding of schools as well as support for a federal stimulus package to fund increased costs at schools relating to the pandemic.
Without such measures, the District could face a financial shortfall that would be catastrophic to the educational program. Click on link below or scroll down the page for the complete letter.
Write Your Legislative Representatives
*Those interested in writing to their respresentative may cut, paste and edit directly from the text below.*
[YOUR FULL NAME
[DATE: Month, Date, Year ]
As an actively involved member of the Phelps-Clifton Springs (Midlakes) Central School District and member of your legislative district, I am growing increasingly concerned about the impending financial situation facing our District and urge you to support the full funding of our schools and oppose any cuts in aid.
Schools have been apprised about a 20% reduction in state aid that would have a catastrophic impact on the educational program at Midlakes schools and cripple supports at every level for our students. Just look at the numbers. State aid funds roughly 58% of the District’s budget. A 20% cut in state aid to the District would amount to approximately $4.254 million.
The reduction in state aid comes at a time when schools have been required to enact greater health and safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD has purchased personnel protective equipment and new sanitizing stations, hired additional staff to deep clean school facilities and make other purchases and take other measures to keep staff, students, and the community safe. Those additional measures are projected to cost the District nearly $500,000 more in its current fiscal year.
In addition to receiving lower than anticipated state aid payments over the summer, the District is growing increasingly concerned about costs related to its food service program used to help feed local families following the broad shutdown that occurred in March and extended for several months.
The District, at the urging of state and federal leaders, went into action to support local families with free meals in the expectation that state and federal monies would offset the costs. This meal program was vital to our school community in helping to feed families and ensure that no one in our school community – school-aged child, most significantly – would go hungry as a result of the pandemic. From March to September, the Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD made and delivered approximately 140,000 meals to District families. The District should be applauded for these herculean efforts. Instead, it faces steep cuts.
Also, a 20% cut in state aid would bring the state’s share of school funding to a historic low, lower than any year since 1940 when such information was first recorded, according to the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Any cut to aid is untenable during this heightened time; such cuts would have a devastating long-term impact on local property taxes and, more significantly, have the most serious of consequences on our children.
Furthermore, I urge you to support a federal stimulus package – one that cannot wait any longer – to ensure that increased costs incurred by the school district due to the pandemic do not have an adverse or prolonged impact on the Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD.
Future funding also cannot be put in peril. Any cut in promised aid from 2019 and 2020 or any mid-year or future funding cuts would put most adversely impact children at a time when they need the most support while in the middle of a pandemic.
As an active member of your legislative district, I urge you to fully support the Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD. The District has played an integral role in supporting our families, and I would expect you to return that support by approving measures to fully fund schools and support your constituency in my community. Do not take away already promised supports.