Recently I attended a roundtable held by Jolene T. DiBrango, Executive Vice president of New York State United Teachers. The Elmira City School District (ECSD) was part of their bus tour going around the state advocating for NYS to fully fund our school districts. ECSD is owed
over $12M in Foundation Aid. Foundation aid was born out of a court case filed in 1993 by a group of New York City parents who claimed the state was not providing basic education for all students.
Outside of Foundation Aid New York State should fully and equally fund districts based on need. Out of the roundtable, where NYSUT met with Superintendent Hillary Austin, teachers and NYS elected officials and representatives, teachers expressed their frustration with the lack of funding. Educators expressed the need for more mental health professionals, more qualified teachers, busing for students and more. Some items didn't require money it required State Ed to listen to the people in the trenches. One teacher, Diane Kerwan, had a page full of ideas. Another educator mentioned one size doesn't fit all. Eliminate minimums like 30-minute teaching times.
When asked by all round-table members to name something positive about the district all our elected Assemblyman could name was the old EFA Pool and how he use to swim there. Its clear our Assemblyman is out of touch and clearly hasn’t visited a school district classroom anywhere in the 124th Assembly District outside of Horseheads. This lack of commitment shows why we need new leadership in Albany especially in the 124th.