Canton students appealing to Albany for help
School districts statewide are facing a similar dilemma, how to budget for the upcoming school year with less than adequate funding. Each district faces its own set of challenges. On Wednesday, schools from the North Country and all over the state will come together as one, traveling to Albany to call on lawmakers for help. Our Cara Thomas tells us how students locally are hoping to turn their actions into results.
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CANTON, N.Y. -- School districts in the north country have seen significant decreases in state and federal funding over the last few years and students are noticing an impact on their education. With job cuts, the classroom sizes are getting larger, classes and special subject areas are being cut, and students are beginning to worry about their options after high school.
"We losing all of our AP and honors classes and everything, and it's not fair for those that might get a better education because now they're not going to have the opportunities they would have," said Connery Marsh, a ninth grade Canton student.
Students, parents and faculty from school districts all over the North Country have decided to take the situation into their own hands. They're heading off to Albany with hopes that someone will listen.
"Hopefully they can hear our voice from way up here and we'll get our opinion in," said Jon Pinckney, an 11th grade student at Canton.
A forum will be held for Rural and Small City School Advocacy Day to hear from the school districts in need. And people are traveling state wide to attend. The students from Canton have a mission of their own. They've set up meetings with legislators to talk about it one on one.
"I think that the formula which funding and state aid is calculated is maybe unfair and we just happen to be one of the districts that kind of falls, kind of slips through the formula and doesn't get the equal funding that we maybe possibly deserve," said Pinckney.
"I think going down there will enlighten them of the situation here and that we need help and so does a bunch of other schools up here, not just Canton," said Marsh.
Students say they're hoping to sustain the budget they're using now and with any luck get more funding to make necessary improvements to the school. Members of seven different school districts, including Canton, Potsdam and Ogdensburg are all taking part in the trip.
A Canton student created a Facebook group called "Equity in State Aid for Schools," And in less than three weeks more than 900 people have joined. The group gives information about public meetings and events related to school budgets.
For more information, visit their Equity in State Aid for Schools Facebook Group'>Facebook page.