Hawley Backs Aid Increase For Low-Wealth Schools
Regents proposal echoes assemblyman’s calls for equity
December 21, 2011
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) is highlighting his support for a recent proposal by the state Board of Regents to increase aid for low-wealth school districts. Hawley has consistently advocated for changes to the formula that determines which districts receive the lion’s share of funding, and sees the Regents plan as a sign of positive adjustments on the horizon. “This is exactly the kind of common-sense approach to school funding that I have worked with our local schools and superintendents to implement,” said Hawley. “The bottom line is that low-wealth school districts rely more heavily on state aid than high-wealth districts, because they have less alternative revenue to draw from. The lack of state education aid for local schools has forced property taxes to skyrocket in recent years, leaving many Western New York homeowners paying the highest tax rates in the nation. I will continue to fight for these reforms that will end the practice of sorely-needed state support being siphoned out of Western New York and into downstate communities.” The proposed change in the school aid formula would commit 73 percent of state funding to low-wealth schools. This funding would be used to support teaching aides and new classrooms, while providing incentives to excel at performance and improve efficiency.