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Rockefeller Institute wants your input on the State Education Funding Formula

Before New York state Legislators consider changing the school funding formula that determines how much money is allocated to each school district across the state, they want to ensure that the public has a chance to weigh in. 

“The state education funding formula is something that affects everyone who lives in Cazenovia and across the state,” said Cazenovia Central School District Superintendent Christopher DiFulvio. “Especially given the difficult budget season we just got through, we want to make sure that our residents are aware this is something that they can voice their opinion on and that they know how to do so.”

The state has tasked the Rockefeller Institute of Government at SUNY with conducting a study of the state’s Foundation Aid formula for schools, which will include assessing the formula, gathering stakeholder feedback and delivering to the state in December a final report on its findings, which could include recommended formula modifications. 

As part of the study, Rockefeller Institute researchers are collecting feedback from the public and education stakeholders, including school families, teachers, staff, administrators, school boards, appointed and elected officials, education researchers and experts, and education-focused support and advocacy organizations. They want to hear from a range of community members who have diverse and informed perspectives.

They will collect written comments until Friday, Sept. 6, through an online form and conduct multiple hearings across the state for public comment. The Central New York regional hearing will be held at Laurens Central School, 55 Main St, Laurens, on Thursday, Aug. 8. You can find a full list of locations here. For all hearings, invited stakeholder testimony will begin at 2 p.m. and public comment for registered speakers will begin at 5:30 p.m. The hearings will be live-streamed. 

The Cazenovia Central School District and Board of Education plan to submit written testimony and will share those comments with the community once completed. 

The Institute has until Dec. 1, 2024, to submit recommendations to the state.

Why is the state studying the Foundation Aid formula?

The Foundation Aid formula is the current method used by the state to allocate education resources to school districts. It was created in 2007 to consolidate school aid programs into one formula. Funds are distributed based on specific information about each school district like enrollment, student demographics and needs, expected local contribution, and other factors. In some cases, the current formula incorporates old or outdated data and statistics. This is just one of the reasons behind the study.

Another driving force is legislature and education advocates calling for the state to take a holistic look at the formula before making any changes. This Spring, the New York state Senate and Assembly both rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate Save Harmless and decrease the inflationary adjustment factor in the state’s Foundation Aid formula. "Save Harmless," also known as "Hold Harmless," ensures that districts don't receive less in Foundation Aid. 

“Thanks to community advocates, we were lucky that the state restored some funding for the 2024-25 school budget, but there’s no guarantee that will happen again. We faced numerous financial challenges while developing the 2024-25 school budget and, unfortunately, will likely face them again. The district is already projecting a $1.6 million deficit for the 2025-26 school year,” said DiFulvio. “We hope adjustments at the state level can give districts like Cazenovia more stability in the future.”

If you have any questions about the study, contact the district office. 


Cazenovia Central School District Logo

Chris DiFulvio


31 Emory Ave Cazenovia, NY 13035