2021-22 Foundation Aid Increase Plans

The 2021-22 enacted State Budget included language stating that, for the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, each school district receiving a Foundation Aid increase of more than 10% or $10 million must post a plan for how the additional funds will be used to the District website before July 1 of each school year.

Below is a summary of the planned use of the $18.9 million increase in Foundation Aid as included in the Syracuse City School District 2021-22 Adopted Budget.

Increasing Graduation Rates and Eliminating the Achievement Gap                                            $7.9 million

The District will be investing funding in programs to support students in both core academics and in courses of study to meet student interest. To support student interest, Foundation Aid funding is being used to continue course offerings in Career and Technical Education (CTE), the continued phase-in of new school models in the District, American Sign Language and other foreign language teachers and related instructional supplies, and increased investment in athletic programs.

In addition, the District is using additional Foundation Aid for the continued rollout of the AVID program to more schools.

To address student absenteeism, the District is investing additional Foundation Aid to cover increases to transportation expenses helping to ensure that our students can get to school and decrease absenteeism.

Lastly, funding will be used to expand staffing in the Office of Family Engagement to facilitate outreach to families, hire a Coordinator for the testing and scoring requirements for the District, and purchase computer devices.

Reducing Class Sizes                                                                                                              $2.6 million

The District is using the increase in Foundation Aid to maintain 26 teaching positions at the elementary school level.  This will allow for continuing classrooms with smaller class sizes than the maximum number of students per classroom.

Providing Supports for Students Who Are Not Meeting, Or Are at Risk of Not Meeting, State Learning Standards in Core Academic Subject Areas                                                                                       $0.8 million

Brighton Academy, STEAM at Dr. King and STEM at Blodgett are schools that were previously identified as receivership schools and re-opened under a new name, new programmatic focuses and new staffing in 2019-20. Additionally, the expeditionary learning model is being rolled out at an elementary school and 2 locations serving students with alternative learning needs. The District is using a portion of the Foundation Aid increase to support the professional development for teachers, instructional supplies and curriculum development at these schools. 

Addressing Student Social-Emotional Health                                                                   $3.1 million

Additional Foundation Aid for the 2021-22 school year has allowed the District to maintain student support staffing and fund a new Coordinator position to work with Guidance Counselors and Social Workers.  The increase in funding also allowed the District to continue to work with outside agencies supporting the mental well-being and social-emotional needs of students.  Resources in this area will also be included in spending plans for federal stimulus grants received by the District.

Providing Adequate Resources to English Language Learners (ELL), Students with Disabilities, and Students Experiencing Homelessness                                                                                       $2.9 million

The District is investing in software to facilitate communication with families of ELL students, and for professional development for Special Education teachers. Funding has been allocated to transportation of Special Education students, nurses providing services to Special Education students, tuition for District students in foster care attending school in other districts, and additional instructional supplies for ELL students.

For students attending McCarthy at Beard, the District plans to implement a beautification project for the outside spaces and purchase additional instructional and athletic supplies.

Additional Foundation Aid funding will also allow the District to maintain teaching staff in the Special Education and English as a New Language (ENL) departments, add an Assistant Director for Special Education, and increase staffing in the Central Registration department to help with enrollment needs of families in traditionally underserved populations.

 Charter School Tuition Costs                                                                                 $0.9 million

The District pays tuition for resident students attending five charter schools in the region.  Two of the schools, opened within the last 5 years, continue to increase enrollment annually as they phase in to the full grade level capacity allowed by their charter.  In addition, the per pupil rate of Charter School Tuition paid by the District increased for the 2021-21 school year.