As urban school districts grapple with massive budget deficit, some programs that aren't strict academics go up on the chopping block. A program in the Syracuse City School District, that teaches everything from sex education to stranger danger, is slated to be cut.
The make-up of the Syracuse Common Council was different when Thomas Valenti and his firm, Cameron Group, first approached it six years ago, but the opposition to the proposed project is still the same.
Valenti wants to develop a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University.
In order to do that, he's requesting a 30-year property tax break from the city.
And therein lies the sticking point.
"If you have all of these grand ideas, then you should be able to finance this project," councilor-at-large Helen Hudson says. "We just can't keep excepting all of these entities."
In their so-called retirement, Tom and Liz Brackett founded and now run an education non-profit, the Brackett Refugee Education Fund. In this conversation, they relate the story of how they decided to start this, how they approach and structure the work of their organization, and what inspires them to keep up the effort.
Innovative programs from eight Central New York SUNY Schools were on display in Syracuse Monday. It was part of the "Power of SUNY Regional Showcase", that let schools from across the area share projects.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is leaning on New York’s network of public colleges to play a bigger role in economic growth -- and he’s proposing to provide the resources to do so. But there could stiff competition for those funds.
Russell, a Democrat from Theresa, has introduced legislation that will adjust the way school districts' wealth is measured. Generally speaking, the poorer a district is, the more aid it gets. But it’s not a true sliding scale at the top and bottom ends.
Right now, the poorest districts are all lumped together in the same category, even though some may be much poorer than others. The same is true of the richest districts – they're all seen on equal footing, even though some may be much richer than others.
A little over 100 days ago, Sharon Contreras began her appointment as the superintendent of the Syracuse City School District. She inherited deep challenges--low test scores and graduation rates, and an austere budget climate. Following her "first 100 days" period of listening and assessment, she is issuing a strategic plan to improve the city's educational system.