In NY State, school funding comes from 3 sources:
  • Federal funding
  • State funding
  • Local revenue (primarily local property taxes)
In Bedford Central, local revenue (property taxes) provides over 90% of the funding for our school district.  Approximately 5% of our funding is from NY State, the most significant portion of which is called Foundation Aid.

FAQ #1:  What is Foundation Aid?
Foundation Aid is the largest unrestricted aid category for public school districts in NY State.  Public school financing was changed significantly in 2007, and the Foundation Aid formula was created to more equally distribute aid throughout the state.  Foundation Aid was intended to help equalize wealth disparity in districts across the state, allowing all districts (regardless of prosperity) to provide a quality education to their students.  Almost 70% of the total school aid statewide is considered Foundation Aid.

FAQ #2:  How much Foundation Aid does the BCSD receive?
In 2016-2017, the BCSD is receiving $4,416,411 in unrestricted Foundation Aid from NY State.  Our total aid from the state is $6,693,335, which includes specific aid for transportation, building and other designated costs. 

FAQ #3:  How is the amount of Foundation Aid determined for each school district?
Truthfully, it's complicated.  The formula calculates a “foundation amount” per student, then weights that amount based upon students with extraordinary needs (students living in poverty, ELLs, etc.) and regional cost differences.  The formula also sets an amount that the district is expected to raise in local taxes, based upon the value of property in the district as well as income in the district. The difference between the weighted foundation amount and the local contribution is the foundation aid per pupil.  Mathematically, it looks a bit like this:
District Foundation Aid per Pupil = [Foundation Amount X Pupil Need Index X Regional Cost Index] – Expected Minimum Local Contribution

FAQ #4:  So why does the Foundation Aid formula shortchange the BCSD?
Primarily because the Pupil Need Index and the Regional Cost Index need to be updated to more accurately reflect the realities of school districts in 2016.  The state uses the 2000 Census numbers to determine poverty levels; they do not adequately fund the additional costs of providing a quality education for ELLs; and they equate the cost of living in Westchester to counties in other areas of the Hudson Valley (Ulster, Dutchess, etc.) when in fact our cost of living is far higher. 

FAQ #5:  How much money are we really talking about?
To put it bluntly, we are talking about a lot of money.  The BCSD receives approximately $1040 per student in unrestricted state Foundation Aid.  Other Westchester/Putnam districts with similar demographics receive hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars more per student. If the BCSD was to receive even $500 more per student to more accurately reflect our demographics, that would be over $2 million dollars per year for the district.

What great things could the BCSD do with an additional $2 million dollars per year?

We need to let our legislators know that we are aware of these issues
and demand change. 
Check out our Action Center for more information:  Action Center