JAMESTOWN – Jamestown School Board President Joe DiMaio is the new leader of a statewide group who’s goal is to look out for the interests of small city school districts.
DiMaio was recently elected President of the New York State Association of Small City School Districts and will serve a one-year term. The Association was formed in 1985 and consists of Superintendents and members of the Boards of Education in the 57 small city school districts, representing approximately 240,000 students across the state.
Among the goals of the association is to advocate on behalf of small-city districts to effect change in state laws, regulations, and policy; as well as to raise awareness of small city issues and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among similarly situated city school officials.
In a media release from the Jamestown School Distirct, DiMaio said he felt it was important to serve on the board because small cities are continually under-funded as well as inequitably funded.
According to school officials, Jamestown is the 6th poorest district in New York State, yet 200 schools in New York get more state aid per pupil.
The 57 small city school districts serve approximately twice the number of students than the “Big 4” school districts of Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Yonkers combined – about 240,000 vs. 120,000 students.
Several small city school districts, including Jamestown, have also filed a lawsuit against the state to provide better equity in school funding. That case has already been argued with closing remarks being made in March – but it could be the end of this year or early next year before Acting Albany Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor issues her ruling.