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Education

Rural school districts worrying about funding

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It is summer vacation for school children, but 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 district - 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 Parent Teacher Association, who spoke on a panel, 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.