Brighton Central School District hosted the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Fund Our Future Bus Tour on Feb. 6. NYSUT is visiting schools across the state to draw attention to the severe impact a lack of state funding has had on schools across the state.
Brighton is not paid $8.1 million in foundation aid, which could cause the District to lose some programs next school year if the issue isn’t resolved. New York State schools are not paid more than $3.4 billion in foundation aid.
“The state’s complete inability to fund Brighton’s foundation aid in an equitable manner relative to other districts has resulted in an unfair burden being put on local taxpayers,” Brighton Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan said. “This has inhibited the District’s ability to provide the additional opportunities that parents expect, that all students deserve, and that the community depends on.”
Brighton administrators, teachers, and parents discussed programs and what could happen if aid is not increased by New York State. Teacher Judy Wegman talked about the academic impact, social worker Lance Mitchell talked about clubs and activities, teacher and coach Casey Shapiro talked about modified athletics and middle school teaming, teacher Lisa Jordan talked about art, teacher Debbie Parker talked about music, Andrea Yawman provided a parent perspective, and Fight For Brighton’s Maranne McDade Clay spoke about the funding inequity. The group from NYSUT then went on a tour of Brighton High School and Twelve Corners Middle School.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan, Board of Education President Mark Kokanovich, and Assistant Superintendent Lou Alaimo met with state officials in Albany about the foundation aid inequity in January. Click here to view a flyer about the issues affecting Brighton.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan had the opportunity to speak about Brighton Central School District’s perspective on the foundation aid formula at a New York State Senate Education Committee Roundtable Discussion on Oct. 18 in Buffalo. Senator Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, held roundtables across the state to get feedback from stakeholders. They discussed the senators’ commitment to full funding, equity in distribution, ideas to better represent the students we serve, unique challenges, and holding all districts harmless. Click here to read what Dr. McGowan presented.