CANTON – The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to address the school funding crisis in St. Lawrence County.
Predicting that state funds are likely to decrease again, the chamber board said that county school districts – unlike “wealthier counterparts across the State” – cannot “offset the disproportionate and concomitant devastating effects of reduced State Aid through property taxes.”
A growing consensus in the county is that school districts in St. Lawrence County have been unfairly dealt with versus wealthier districts in New York when it comes to state aid for schools.
“Such sustained fiscal injustice will imminently lead to both fiscal and educational insolvency within the St. Lawrence County School Districts,” the board resolution says, and “will render St. Lawrence County School Districts incapable of providing their students with the essential education opportunities they so richly deserve and to which they have a constitutional right.”
The resolution, unanimously approved at the chamber board’s meeting on Dec. 20, will be forwarded to local state Senate and Assembly members.
The County Chamber took up the issue of inequity in school funding since the quality of local public schools “impacts the quality of life here, and our ability to bring in new people and business,” Chamber Board Second Vice President Scott Goldie noted during discussion.