Be an Advocate!



Will you join us in contacting local delegates to ask for additional funding? 

Sample Messages:

Twitter bird

Sample Tweet 

<Insert Twitter Handle> Please advocate for children in @SyracuseSchools by supporting our specific legislative requests as you consider this year’s budget! Details: www.syracusecityschools.com/funding

Email

Sample Emails

Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

Please provide additional Early Education & Pre-K funding for our 2-, 3- and 4-year-old children. The state budget needs to include a commitment to fully funding all-day Pre-K. More than 70% of the State’s Prekindergartners are educated in the Big 5 school districts; however, funding for these vital programs does not cover actual cost. Many early leaners are not served in the current Pre-K model as a result of inadequate funding. By investing in Pre-K, you are investing in our future!

With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS


Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

Please consider increasing the Career and Technical Education Funding to help our children become career ready. Please include 9th grade students in the funding formula so they can get a head start on their career readiness and double the CTE rate over the coming 3 years as outlined by the NYS Board of Regents. 

I also ask that you increase the weight in the Foundation Aid formula for English as a New Language students and those with special needs and living in poverty. With many Syracuse City School District students living below the poverty line, and with multiple languages spoken in  our community, Syracuse students would benefit greatly from a properly weighted Foundation Aid formula. 

With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS


Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

I ask that you increase the Special Services Aid which funds the 27 Career & Technical (CTE) Pathways in the Syracuse City School District. High School CTE programs provide vital college and career ready skills to more than 1,500 students. By including 9th grade students in the CTE funding formula and doubling the CTE rate over the coming 3 years as outlined by the NYS Board of Regents, you are investing in our future!

With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS


Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

Please establish and fund infrastructure to sustain critical well-being supports for students. All children have been impacted by the pandemic; however, those in urban centers living in poverty, some with disabilities or language acquisition challenges, have been particularly impacted. Our students will need social-emotional and mental well-being supports long after the federal stimulus supports expire.

With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS


Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

Please reduce the burden on public schools that the current Charter School model creates. I ask that you limit charter school enrollment to 10% of the district enrollment, reduce the charter tuition rate, and discontinue SUNY authorization of charter schools. These three changes will ensure that taxpayer dollars for public education are sensibly invested in our children and our future.
With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS


Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

Please provide affordable WIFI access in Syracuse to ensure that all of our students have the same opportunity to learn remotely and to complete their assignments after school hours. The gap between those with and without broadband access has widened during the pandemic and has left many children behind. Internet access is a public utility like water and electricity. Our community members need internet access not only for remote learning, but also for access to medical professionals, distanced shopping, working remotely and connecting with family.

With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS
 


Dear Representative,

As a proud member of the Syracuse City School District community, I am asking for your help in advocating for our students as you consider this year’s Budget priorities.

The pandemic emphasized just how crucial technology has become to education. Please fund another round of Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) funding. The District has doubled the number of devices deployed districtwide and has needed to add staff and enhance infrastructure to support the additional bandwidth, safe internet access, number of devices, training for staff and students, hardware, and software to ensure that learning can be supported. By funding another round of SSBA, the state can provide funding when approved and when needed to replenish devices and sustain infrastructure for the future of education.

With your support, we can ensure that Syracuse City School District students have the resources and supports needed to lead them to success. Please visit syracusecityschools.com/funding for more information.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

NAME
ADDRESS

Telephone

Sample Phone Script

Good afternoon. I’m calling to ask you to advocate for the Syracuse City School District as you consider this year’s budget priorities. The district has set up a website with details on how you can help support our unique student population – at syracusecityschools.com/funding. As a member of the Syracuse City School District community, I appreciate your help in speaking up to support our children. Thank you.


 


See below for contact information for your New York State representatives:

Find the name of your New York State Assembly Member

Find the name of your New York State Senator

 
NYS ASSEMBLY MEMBER
129th Assembly District
William Magnarelli – (D)

(315) 428-9651
Magnarw@nyassembly.gov

NYS SENATOR
50th Senate District
John W. Mannion - (D)

(315) 428-7632
mannion@nysenate.gov

NYS SENATOR
53rd Senate District
Rachel May - (D)

(315) 907-7148
may@nysenate.gov

NYS ASSEMBLY MEMBER
128th Assembly District
Pamela J. Hunter – (D)

(315) 449-9536
HunterP@nyassembly.gov


GOVERNOR
Kathy Hochul – (D)

(518) 474-8390
 


NYS SENATOR
Chair of Education Committee
Shelley Mayer - (D)

(518) 455-2031
smayer@nysenate.gov

NYS SENATOR
Chair of Finance Committee
Liz Krueger – (D)

(518) 455-2297
lkrueger@nysenate.gov 


NYS ASSEMBLYPERSON
Chair of Education Committee
Michael Benedetto - (D)

(518) 455-5296
benedettom@nyassembly.gov


NYS ASSEMBLYPERSON
Chair of Ways & Means Committee
Helene Weinstein - (D)

(518) 455-5462
WeinsH@nyassembly.gov

BOARD OF REGENTS MEMBER
Elizabeth S. Hakanson

(518) 474-5889
Regent.Hakanson@nysed.gov


 
 
 

Funding requests:

Update the Foundation Aid Formula

Utilize updated census and poverty data and increase weightings for Special Education and English Language Learners (ELL) for proper funding. This is the year to update the census data and use current, more accurate data to ensure that state funds will be allocated to students who need it most when the federal stimulus funds expire

Increase School Health Services funding

For years, School Health Services funding has not kept pace with student health and medical needs. This gap has widened as a result of the ongoing pandemic. SCSD funding of $1.08 million essentially covers the cost of 12 nurses. We employ more than 50 nurses and more than 35 health aides providing essential services to all schools in the City of Syracuse including charter and parochial schools. School nurses bridge the gap between pediatric health care and education. Nurses are essential to the daily operation of our schools and should be properly funded as an expense-based aid. The last two years have been overwhelming for our health services staff. Our nurses have been performing extra duties in order to continue to provide the best services to our students during the pandemic so that we can keep our schools open for in-person instruction. Currently we have a full-time nurse at each one of our schools, regardless of the enrollment in the building. The District would like to establish a student to nurse ratio of 300:1 in order to continue to provide essential health services to our students. In order to do this, additional School Health Services Aid is needed

Expense Driven Aids & Instructional Materials Aid Enhancement

Fully fund and maintain expense driven aids and adopt the NYS Board of Regents proposal to increase instructional material aids including library materials, textbooks, software and hardware aid. These funds provide critical access to educational materials.

These aid categories have not increased since the 1990s:
Aid Category Current Rate Regents 2022-23
Proposed Rate
Textbook $58.25 $77.30
Library Materials $6.25 $8.30
Software $14.98 $22.85
Hardware $24.20 $32.12

Increase Special Services Aid (CTE)

Provide Special Services Aid for 9th grade students enrolled in Career & Technical Education courses. The current formula only funds students in grades 10, 11 and 12. Data is being collected and reported on 9th grade CTE students and this investment will provide opportunities for students to be college and career ready. We have begun introducing CTE courses to middle school students and long-term our
students will be entering high school with a CTE credit. It is important that Special Services Aid is funded for all students in the CTE programs, including freshmen.
 
Additionally, increase the cap on the per pupil rate by 33% each year for three years as outlined in the Regents Proposal (from $3,900 to $5,200 in 2022-23).

Advance Payment of Supplemental Charter School Tuition Aid to the Current Year

Supplemental Charter School Tuition Aid is paid on a one-year lag. If the State would pay this aid in the current year, it would provide a one year pick up in 2022-23 then will help with cash flow thereafter. The District is mandated to pay Charter Tuition prior to receiving Foundation Aid (or risk having it intercepted) and then must wait a year before receiving Supplemental Charter School Tuition Aid.

Student Health, Mental Well-Being, and Nutrition

Establish and fund infrastructure to sustain critical well-being supports for students. All children have been impacted by the pandemic; however, those in urban centers living in poverty, with disabilities, and with language acquisition challenges have been particularly impacted and will need support long after the federal stimulus funds expire.

Fund Another Round of Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA)

The pandemic emphasized just how crucial technology has become to education. Syracuse doubled the number of devices deployed districtwide and has needed to add staff and enhance infrastructure to support the additional bandwidth, safe internet access, number of devices, training for staff and students, hardware and software to ensure that virtual learning can be supported. By funding another round of SSBA, the State can provide funding when approved and when needed to replenish devices and sustain infrastructure for the future of education. Otherwise, we will need annual funding for technology.

Expedite State Aid Payments to the Beginning of the School Year

Align State Aid payments to the beginning of the year to eliminate the need for short-term Revenue Anticipation Notes (RAN) borrowing. Additionally, fund the district timely aligned with Charter Tuition payment schedule. Districts are required to prepay Charters beginning in July, yet most of the District’s aid is received at the end of January, March and June.

English Language Learners

Most pupils who are newly arrived in the US are educated in the Big 5 School Districts. The State needs to provide more support for English Language Learners (ELLs) through a designated categorical program to fund the services immigrant students needs as they acclimate to school and skills beyond just language acquisition. Many immigrant children arrive in the US with interrupted formal education (SIFE) and require resources to help them transition to the school learning environment.

Continue Funding of CSE Special Education Placements

Our most vulnerable students depend on the District’s ability to provide appropriate educational services. Some students need the advanced services of residential placements, which we have been able to provide with State funding. Shifting more of the financial burden to the District would have an adverse effect on services provided to our most vulnerable children.