Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A dire message is being sent from the largest group of school districts in New York State.
The Statewide School Finance Consortium is warning that many districts are on the brink of disaster due to inequitable funding.
We have seen teacher cuts and programs reduced, clever accounting in the past few years just to make school budgets balanced, without putting to much burden on an already overtaxed public.
Dr. Rick Timbs, with the Statewide School Finance Consortium, said, “We pointed it out year after year, but its been coming to a bubble, closer to a really bursting bubble these last two years. I'm thinking by 2015 the bubble will burst for many school districts."
You might be surprised to find out that by the state's own standards there is not one single school district in all of Central New York that's considered wealthy.
“There's no doubt the foundation aid formula for distribution is totally broken. It does not work, as a matter of fact we're finding out there's a huge number of unbelievably wealthy districts that are already overfunded and the state isn't recognizing this. It's going to be a problem,” Timbs said.
The Citizens Budget Commission has released an interactive, free online map that looks at state school aid per district. You can search for individual school districts and see breakdowns of how it spends its budget and how it compares to state averages per pupil and compare districts.
What you can't see are the districts Timbs says are on the brink the next couple years.
“Because in that time school districts will be so damaged their progress will be so hindered I think there'll be a huge public uproar and to avoid that, the newly elected officials, whomever they may be this November, better get working on this right away,” he said.
Timbs says more money isn't necessarily the answer, just a better distribution of what's given out.
If you want to see the state aid numbers for your school district or any other in the state, click here to visit the interactive map