I am sending this letter to ask for your help to provide the Bedford Central School District (BCSD) with a sufficient level of much needed NYS education funding.
I hope you are aware that the NYS Comptroller's office recently ranked the BCSD as the third most fiscally stressed school district in the state. Due to unfunded mandates and an increasing high need population, costs are rising significantly faster than revenues, despite the fact that programs have been cut, class sizes are increasing, and total employment is down. The BCSD needs financial aid from the state to maintain quality education.
The BCSD has a substantial and rising population of high need and at risk students comprised of English Language Learners (ELLs) and students in poverty who receive Free and Reduced Price Meals. Out of 46 districts in Westchester and Putnam counties, the BCSD is:
#4 in English Language Learner student growth
#7 in English Language Learner students as a percent of total enrollment
#11 in Free and Reduced meals percentage
Yet we are #40 in the amount of the state aid we receive. Districts across Westchester and Putnam counties are experiencing declining student populations. Many have a minimal number of high need students, yet they receive more aid than the BCSD.
State aid is intended to help districts that genuinely need it
most. The aid should be provided for the students at risk. The BCSD represents a
diverse community that is more heterogeneous than most districts in Westchester
and Putnam, and state mandates are hurting districts with growing English
Language Learners the most. We implore you to take action to help the BCSD and
fix this funding imbalance.
We need you to advocate for us and generate results. We need additional NYS funding for the 2017/18 school year.