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Revise unfair school funding formula

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Canton Central School is ranked third in our region for academic excellence, yet over the past three years it has experienced one of the highest per-pupil cuts in funding in the entire state.

More than 40 dedicated staff members have lost their jobs, including teachers at every grade level. If funding doesn’t change, the school no longer will have the funds needed to remain open. This flawed funding system causes cuts to be much more extreme for poorer area schools. It is important to note that New York is ranked in the bottom five in the nation for fair funding to its schools.

In my 30 years as an elementary teacher, I know about rural poverty. I also know all children have dreams and that America’s future sits in the classrooms of rural, and urban, America.

My 6-year-old grandson dreams of becoming a zoologist, his 5-year-old sister, a doctor. Am I to tell them that their dreams won’t be realized because of where they live?

I ask that the gap elimination adjustment be eliminated in state aid, that Canton be reclassified as a high-needs district using current data, and that this unfair funding formula be fixed so that it no longer guarantees the education of some of America’s children at the expense of the rest.

President Kennedy once said, “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The future will not judge us on our power or our wealth, but rather on how we cared for and guaranteed the dreams of our greatest resource, our children, rich and poor, urban and rural.

Laurie Swinwood

Canton

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