Bus tour to push for more public school funding visits Bronx middle school
Advocates, union leaders and politicians are visiting school districts throughout New York state on a seven-week bus tour to push for more funding.
One of their stops so far was Middle School 181 in Baychester, which is owed $1 million in state funding.
State Sen. Jamaal Bailey, who was once a student at that middle school, said that some things have not changed since he attended 24 years ago.
“You look at those blackboards, I recall when I was in sixth grade approximately 1994, I think they were new," Bailey said. "26 years later it looks like it’s the same old song. We can’t afford to continue to short-change our students.”
Earlier this month, the state proposed an $826 million increase in funding for public schools, but advocates believe that amount falls short. They are calling for a $2.1 billion increase in state aid for the more than 400 school districts across the state.
The “Fund Our Future” bus tour will be visiting each of the eight regions of the state, including Long Island. Those from the tour will be talking with teachers, parents and students to get feedback on what’s lacking in their schools. They plan to report their findings and lobby for more school funding to be allocated in the state’s upcoming budget.
The state Department of Education released a statement regarding funding.
“To provide stability and predictability in the foundation aid formula, the regents state aid proposal continues to call for the full phase-in of the formula over a three-year period by the 2022-23 school year,” the statement read. “These changes would provide a total of $4.7 billion dollars in additional foundation aid statewide over the next three years, achieved through a combination of targeted increases.”