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Ossining Rallies Against $16 Million Loss Of State School Funding

Ossining students, parents and teachers took part in a rally at Market Square on Thursday, March 22 to protest drastic cuts in state aid. Children shouted: "Show me the money," to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of neighboring New Castle. Photo Credit: Contributed
Ossining schoolchildren have been drawing photos and writing letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ask for more state funding of their schools. Photo Credit: Contributed
Ossining students, parents and teachers took part in a rally at Market Square on Thursday to protest drastic cuts in state aid. Photo Credit: Contributed

More than 100 Ossining students and parents rallied on Thursday for a "fair share of state school aid."

Children shouted: "Show me the money," to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

At Ossining High School, teenagers have been writing letters to Gov.Cuomo of New Castle -- asking for the District’s fair share of Foundation Aid Funding.

Across town at Brookside Elementary School first graders have been drawing pictures of what they love about school.

Down by the Hudson River, one father explains in Spanish to other parents how the district has been shortchanged.

And in yet another corner of town mothers sip wine, express outrage about Foundation Aid funding and devise a plan to get the funding they are due.

All over Ossining the outrage is the same: How could the district be shortchange 60 percent of the funding they are due by Cuomo and representatives in the state Senate and Assembly?

In Ossining, the school district has seen a tremendous enrollment boom.

School Superintendent Ray Sanchez said: “In the past 10 years the district has swelled to over 5,000 students. It’s a 24 percent increase and we are at capacity. . . . . We are thrilled people want to be in Ossining, it is a wonderful community but now we need the State to come in and adjust this formula to give these kids the money their School District needs.”

At fully funded levels, Ossining would receive over $27.5 million this year, and instead is slated to only receive $11 million.

Katherin Crossling who has three kids in the district said she was shocked to learn about the frozen aid: “We have a $16 million dollar gap. I’m outraged – Ossining parents continue to have to put in superhuman effort year after year to get this message to our Governor. We demand our representatives work just as hard. This School District needs to be made whole – by the state.”

Ossining's Nate Torrieri, 6,  drew a picture of dollars to send to Cuomo and said: “We need more money for more programs.”

Another Ossining parent, Jennifer Smith Couti, who has one child in the district, said: “We moved here from Chappaqua for all the diversity this community has to offer. I’m shocked this discrepancy with the Foundation Aid has been happening for the past 10 years."

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