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Study: Some lower income school districts lack basic needs resources

By GARY LIBERATORE

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - According to a newly released study by the Teachers College at Columbia University, some lower income school districts are not meeting the basic needs of students in such things as social studies and support services for struggling students.

This comes six years after a landmark court case which ruled New York State must provide school districts with more funding.

According to the Associated Press, The Campaign for Fiscal Equality, which won the court case, says the state is behind $5 billion on what it pledged to spend.

Ilion Schools Superintended Cosimo Tangorra says although his district is not on that list of schools which is not meeting basic needs, he says it's not far away.

"Many districts will be in the situation where they are not able to afford the minimum mandated requirements," Tangorra said. " So Academic Intervention Services which are services that are provided to students who are falling behind, many districts aren't going to be able to afford to provide those services."

Tangorra says he was hopeful when the landmark decision came down six years ago that things would get better for lower income school districts like Ilion.

"The problem has been the recession, so the state is in a precarious situation, it doesn't have the money that is necessary to meet the requirements of the CFE."

Ultimately Tangorra says, school districts across the state will have to make some tough decisions, like deciding on whether to keep non-mandated programs like Advanced Placement courses and extracurricular activities like sports in order to keep the mandated programs like services for struggling students,

Tangorra says he hopes things get better before they get worse.

"Things are bad, things are difficult, but I believe there is a hyperfocus on making things better."

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