The Jamestown School Board approved paying what should be the last of legal fees for the Small City Schools lawsuit. The district was one of eight school districts across the state who successfully sued the state for insufficiently funding them.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker said it’s up to the State Legislature to decide how to act now that the Appellate Court Judges have sent the decision to them, “It is unlikely that we’ll get the lump sum of what we’ve been owed. Very unlikely that would happen but we anticipate something will be coming in the next few years.”
Whitaker said the Jamestown School District had been shorted $106 million. He said the state requires districts to provide services to help students who are struggling, “Small city school districts tend to have a larger percentage of students who are struggling. Therefore they’d need more assistance, but they have very low ability to raise money through taxes, so they would have required more money to support the concentration of students who struggle. Therefore, the lawsuit said the state did not provide us with enough foundational money in order to accomplish that task through the hiring of staff, tutoring, and those sorts of things that other districts were able to do as a result of their tax bases.”
The final litigation fee payment approved by the School Board was in the amount of $10,000.
The School Board also adopted the district’s Safety Plan for the 2021-22 school year along with the individual school safety plans. These are plans that are required by New York State. The District’s approved plan can be read at jpsny.org/safetyplan.