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Education

Rural schools worry about future school funding

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New York State Center for Rural Schools
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Kyle Belokopitsky speaks on panel at Center for Rural Schools meeting in Cooperstown, along with Association of School Superintendents' Bob Lowry and political analyst Bruce Gyory. Moderated by Karen DeWitt (left)

While it’s summer vacation for school children, leaders of New York’s rural schools are worrying about the new school year, and say they are squeezed by a tax cap and other factors.

The legislature approved record funding for schools this year, but representatives of rural school districts, many with impoverished families and students, worry that if the economy turns, the funding will dry up. They say they are already strapped with a tax cap that this year amounts to a near zero percent increase, while costs are rising.

Kyle Belokopitsky, with the New York State PTA, spoke on a panel at a Center for Rural Schools meeting in Cooperstown. She says while New York has some of the wealthiest areas and school districts in the nation, it also has some of the poorest.

“Poverty is real,” she said.

The rural school leaders say they want lawmakers to reform of the decade old school funding formula, to make it more equitable to help school districts in need.