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| Holding Charter Schools Accountable

Ulster County Legislator Calls for Equity and Accountability in School Funding

Mid-Hudson News - December 29, 2014 - It took a 2007 Federal lawsuit to ensure equity in New York State school aid funding to local districts. Over the course of the past six years, Ulster County school districts received close to $26 million or at least they would have, had the State actually implemented the promised foundation aid. Instead, the foundation aid was frozen as part of the State's budget process.

"Ulster County tax payers have been paying more and more to ensure education for all," said County Legislator David Donaldson (D, Kingston). "Yet, the State has balanced its budget without paying its promised share. The State leadership has to stop talking about supporting the future of our State and actually pay for what they promised."

Over a billion dollars are being given to serve the 3% of student population that attend Charter Schools in New York State for 2014. $54 million is estimated by a Center for Popular Democracy's report to be lost because of charter school fraud and abuse in 2014 alone. Only eighteen of the sixtytwo counties in New York State have a charter school. Ulster County has no charter schools.

"I am all for helping parents to ensure their children receive the quality education they deserve," said Donaldson. 'That quality education starts with the public education system that serves 85% of New York State's children. Until the State leaders provide the funding that will address the educational gaps in public education and ensure the oversight and accountability of private charter school education, no taxpayer dollars - whether State or local taxes - should be spent on privately run schools that are not held to the same standards or expectations as the public school system."

Donaldson wants the County Legislature to consider the measure at their January 9 session.