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J-E superintendent seeks fair shake

Dominick proposes CFE changes

J-E superintendent seeks a fair shake for CNY

By Michael Potter

Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer will implement his first budget in April 2007, and one Syracuse-area school superintendent is hopeful that her proposed alterations to the state school aid system will be part of it.

Marilyn Dominick, superintendent of the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District, is a member of the Statewide School Finance Consortium, a committee of volunteer educators looking to capitalize on a State Supreme Court ruling that called for increased funding to New York City public schools.

The case, Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) vs. State of New York, was filed in 1993 and dragged on through years of appeals. It culminated in a decision last March 23 ordering the state legislature to allocate between $4.7 billion and $5.63 billion in aid for New York City's public schools.

Plaintiff CFE called on the legislature to pass statewide legislation for its students. Dominick and the other SSFC members have worked to make sure Central New York and the rest of the state receives the kind of funding that CFE won for New York City.

Shares agreement

SSFC members point to the current shares agreement in the state aid formula as one of the major problems in need of change. Under the shares agreement, certain areas of the state are granted a certain percentage of aid. These percentages have not been adjusted changing economic profiles; Central New York is one region that has taken an economic nosedive over the several years.

Rick Timbs, SSFC executive director, said that Republican voting blocks on Long Island ensure that the island gets a large percentage of state aid regardless of how much overall aid is available. New York City, inner-city, and rural areas receive less money despite having more students and more poverty.

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