District leaders at Coxsackie-Athens have been working with staff and community members over the last several years to find creative ways to maintain the integrity of our educational program and service to our community. Yet without meaningful and sustained support from our state leaders, C-A residents are challenged to preserve the high level of public education that they have come to know and value throughout the years.
The time for change is now. New York State is in a position to restore its commitment to public education. The voices of school leaders and lobbyists for state-level education groups simply are not enough. Elected officials need to hear directly from you, their constituents. They need to hear from the people that are most directly impacted by their decisions (or indecisions) year after year—the students, parents, employees, residents, community groups and business owners of Coxsackie-Athens.
What can I do?
Advocacy takes many forms. It could be a note to an elected official, a comment made during a public forum, a letter to a newspaper editor or formal testimony at public hearings. It could be as simple as chatting with neighbors to clear up misunderstandings about education issues or sharing education-related stories with local civic organizations during their meetings.
Becoming an advocate for education is not as hard as you might think. Anyone can become involved, at any level they choose. The only prerequisite necessary is a desire to fight for our students and our community schools. Effective advocates do their homework. They know the issues and plan their communication. Most of all, they give their time to advance their cause.
Ask the Governor and state legislators to fund the formula
The Coxsackie-Athens Central School District is asking residents to join in a community advocacy effort to let state leaders and area legislators know that the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District and its property taxpayers deserve to look to the state as a strong partner in educating current students and future generations. Such a partnership must include restoration of funding long owed to the school district.
Since 2007, New York State has had a foundation aid formula that was meant to be a reliable process to provide state aid to the districts that need it the most. The state has NOT funded the formula, and in fact took money away for multiple years; this was called the Gap Elimination Adjustment. That was finally paid back three years ago. In the meantime aid owed via the Foundation Aid formula has gone unpaid. Now the fair way to go would be to begin providing aid based on the foundation formula and accelerating payment to districts, like C-A that are owed money. How much is C-A owed?We are owed $1,400,000 in foundation aid!
Superintendent Randy Squier is encouraging stakeholders, including parents, students, employees, homeowners, and business leaders who support the Coxsackie-Athens schools to join him to write letters, make calls, and urge our state legislators to support this call to "fund the formula!"
----------------------Below are a number of advocacy resources, contact information for our representatives as well as others in position of power within the state. You will also find sample letters as well as talking points to create your own letter. Feel free to edit as you see fit. In your communication, please exhibit the class and virtues that make our district so special.
Join the Letter Writing Campaign!
The Coxsackie-Athens Central School District’s Board of Education and administration are instituting a letter-writing campaign NOW to fund the formula beginning this year and not go along with the Governor's proposal of scrapping the formula. It is NOW that we need to make our voices and numbers heard in Albany.
State legislators have told us a hand-written letter has much more impact than form letters. Please consider using these letters as a guide: