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Congressman Hanna: "All Children are Equal Act" will create fairer system for education funding

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Congressman Richard Hanna was in Utica on Monday, touring Martin Luther King Elementary School and expressing his support of the "All Children are Equal Act."

Hanna says the new bill, currently on the floor of congress, would ensure schools with a high percentage of low-income students receive more federal funding. Based on the current model, schools are given funding based on the number of children in the school.

"It will be a fairer system, because it's designed to help children," Congressman Hanna said. "It is designed to help children in poverty or children in need, but it isn't happening that way now, because it measured by population."

Due to the smaller population in the Mohawk Valley, the area misses out on about $4 million dollars in funding, said Hanna.

Bruce Karam, the Superintendent of the Utica School District, says area schools are in desperate need of increased funding.

"We have been saying it here in the Utica City School district for years," Karam said. "Based on our demographics, statistics, high poverty rate, and high reduced lunch rate, we don't get an equitable share of the state aid."

The increased funds from the "All Children Are Equal Act" would support more staff to keep class sizes small, teacher's aids in the classroom, and remedial classes to help students who fall behind.

Congressman Hanna says the bill is in its beginning stages and he predicts it will take some time to gain momentum in Washington.

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