At the New Paltz School Board meeting this week, there was a report by a representative from Alliance for Quality Education, a group focused on restoring millions of dollars' worth of state aid to local schools, and to make sure that the aid is distributed equitably.
I heard AQE's director, Billy Easton, speak at an event at Rondout Valley High School a few weeks ago. He was on fire as he showed how the cuts disproportionately harm the poorest districts. In fact, in the latest round of state aid shuffling, Rondout Valley is losing another half-million dollars.
Listening to the AQE rep speaking in New Paltz, I was amazed by the difference. The fellow was hesitant and apologetic as he explained that our district isn't really one of the ones that AQE's mission will help. Finally, Superintendent Maria Rice said it for him.
"We're a wealthy district according to state standards," she said.
Sure enough, while Rondout Valley lost half a million, board members here reported that the new state aid allocation will have them "about even," in Kt Tobin's words.
We may well feel like we're part of the subjugated majority in New Paltz, but there's at least one group out there which thinks we get too big a handout, and wants to take some away.