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Utica Schools Push For Their Fair Share

175 teacher layoffs within the last three years, over 30 students in a classroom today; this sounds like a school district's worst nightmare. For the Utica City School District it's no bad dream, its reality.
175 teacher layoffs within the last three years, over 30 students in a classroom today; this sounds like a school district's worst nightmare. For the Utica City School District it's no bad dream, its reality.
The district entered this school year in about a six and a half million dollar deficit. There’s a movement going on right now called “Utica’s Fair Share,” a push to get more state funding the growing school district.
The rally for “Utica’s Fair Share” may have been Tuesday, but the issue is ongoing
"We have one computer lab in our school that doesn't even have a sufficient amount of computers for one class. You have dozens of classes that are trying to get in this computer lab and it's only open for one period," says Utica student Trinh Truong.
"Well, it definitely makes us not competitive with other districts, other cities and you know, education should not only be about maintaining but it should be about progression,” says high school student Delvin Moody.
Trinh and Delvin are students at Proctor High School in Utica. They say they experience the district's lack of funding first-hand every day. But you don't have to be a student in the classroom to pick up on the problems.
"The Utica School District, which is a growing district due to the refugee population, is being under-funded by the state," says Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.
A growing district indeed.
"Since 2008, the Utica School District has gained almost a thousand more students but they've gotten zero dollars more in education funding from the state of New York," said Assemblyman Brindisi.
Something Utica parents, teachers, students and community members are fighting to change.
The Assemblyman says people should contact their legislators and call the Governor himself to try and push for more funding. Local activists will also be making a trip to Albany next month.

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