UTICA, NY (WUTR)—- The fight for increased Utica School District continues, nearly 10 years after the issue was brought to court.
“The Utica School District is the 5th poorest school district in the State of New York,” said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, who used to serve on the Utica School Board.”There are 200 other school districts in New York that get more funding per pupal, than the Utica School District does.”
The Utica School District, as well as other small districts, decided to sue New York State for more money. The case was tried and ruled against them. The Appellate Court has recently overturned that decision, keeping the case alive.
“It’s good news that this school district and the other school districts that are in the lawsuit with Utica won this case at the appellate level, but I’m sure that the State will appeal the case. They can still go up to the Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in New York State. It’s going to take longer before relief can be seen in this case,” Brindisi explained.
Brindisi said the lack of money has forced the Utica School District to scale back on education resources.
“Since 2008, Utica has probably lost out on $60 Million Dollars in funding that they should have gotten, had the money kept up with the need that is here in Utica,” Brindisi stated. “And because that funding has not kept up with the need, class sizes have grown, the district is one of the leanest in terms of the administration, and teacher resources, and the amount of teachers in the classroom is really not where it should be. We need a lot more teachers.”
If Utica is successful, Brindisi said the courts will order the state to create a funding system that will meet the needs of the school districts.