Districts claim Governor isn't following funding formula

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Two local superintendents are calling out Gov. Andrew Cuomo claiming the state is holding back money— causing higher taxes and program cuts.

North Syracuse and Liverpool school districts may be rivals on the football field and basketball court, but now their superintendents are teaming up.

"We are neighboring districts. We’re very similar in nature, have similar needs,” said Annette Speach, the North Syracuse superintendent.

Those needs: more money, they say.  In the last decade, both districts have laid off hundreds of staff, and cut all kinds of programs because of tight budgets.

"We've lost volleyball teams, basketball teams, football teams,” said Mark Potter, Liverpool superintendent.

"Many of our students have been fundraising to make some of those things still happen. It’s getting old, it's getting tiring. We should be able to provide those opportunities for students,” Speach said.

Potter says, "We've gotten a relationship with the community that they understand it's not us, they don't yell at us, they're frustrated and they hear what we're trying to do. They’re just asking what can they do?"

Ten years ago, a court ruled the state must develop a formula for calculating how much aid each district gets from Albany.

These superintendents say Gov. Cuomo is not keeping to the formula and what the amount they ultimately get is a surprise.

"If we don't know when we're building a budget, ultimately what we don't get from the state has to come from the taxpayers,” Speech says. “It’s about money that's owed to us for over ten years that we have not been receiving. That has put us in the budget straights we've been under."

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