In order to do this, Albany has to move away from the current method of school funding and “focus on providing a comprehensive package of legislative and budgetary measures that will help stabilize the situation and move forward.” This includes improving the state aid formula to provide adequate funding for rural schools, fulfilling the state promise of substantive mandate relief and providing schools with more flexibility in meeting their needs, he said.
Unatego junior class president Ryan Carson spoke about the issues at the rally, Molloy said. Getting on the bus, Carson said he was involved with a similar effort last year in Albany.
“It’s important to keep pressure on legislators or nothing will get done.”
High school government teacher Jennifer Mileski was also on the trip.
“This is a great example of participation in government at its best,” she said. She said she’s deeply concerned about the inequities in the state aid formula that fail to meet the needs of upstate school’s.
Sen. James Seward, R-Milford said about the rally: “I commend students, staff and faculty for taking an interest in the issue.” Mandate relief for area schools is something that is long overdo, he said, and a method of funding pensions that will take the peaks and valleys out of process would also be helpful. He said he’s hopeful that a commission appointed by Cuomo to address the problem will make recommendations that will help schools deliver a quality education that all parties can afford.