Critical Lessons & Educational Change

Dear Governor Cuomo and Superintendents of CNY Schools

Written and Submitted by Central New York High School Students

March 24, 2011

Being that the issue of school funding effects us directly as students of unevenly funded schools we have worked to create a solution to the issue of school budget cuts.

In 1954, the Untied States Supreme Court deemed that separate but equal facilities are inherently unequal.  As a result of “white flight” to the suburbs, the city districts are now essentially back to square one.  The suburbs have grown to have a significantly larger tax base as their residents have shown to have an economic advantage. Being that taxation provides school funding the suburban schools have significantly more resources.

Through resources are more abundant in suburban schools budget cuts are having devastating effects in all schools. Reduction in school funding has led to an increase in class sizes as teachers are being layed off which is detrimental to learning.  This affects special needs kids who need a higher degree of attention, vital aspects of the schools atmosphere including the sports and arts programs have been severally reduced and/or cut out.

As a solution to this problem we as students purpose an evening out of the distribution of funds between suburban and urban schools.  We realize change in school budget regulations would have to be gradual, but some sort of change is needed. We suggest not determining budgets based on small school district, but on a more broad scale.  For example a Syracuse Metropolitan Region which would include the city of Syracuse and its outlying suburbs.  The budget cuts of this region would pool the resources of all of its inner school districts, thus decreasing the gap in school funding between city and suburban schools.


Purple Pandas

A Working Group of Eight Concerned and Engaged Central New York High School Students From The Syracuse University (Intergroup Dialogue Program, “Raising Our Voices”) Spring 2011 Institute