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Batavia City Schools leaders urge citizens to support Prop #1 in Tuesday's vote

By Press Release

Press Release:

Dear Batavia Community,

We are writing on behalf of the Batavia City School District, as well as the students, staff and residents in the fifty-seven (57) small city school districts across New York State.  We are seeking the support of your school district and its residents in amending the NYS Constitution through a public vote November 7, 2023.  The small city school districts in NYS are seeking to amend the State Constitution which limits small city school district debt (critical for building and capital construction) to five percent (5%), while all rural and suburban non city school districts debt limit is set at ten percent (10%). The only means to make this change and provide small city school districts with the same opportunity as other school districts is through a public vote.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Allowing small city school districts to have a ten percent debt limit would permit these school districts to conduct building planning and projects at the scale and scope necessary to efficiently and effectively make critically needed building upgrades and improvements in a timely and cost-effective manner.   Should this vote in November be successful it would not have any impact on non-city school districts.  Currently small city school directs due to their five percent (5%) debt limit must address needed capital improvements for health and safety projects, HVAC improvements, roofing replacements, facility renovations and additions to address instructional and enrollment needs as well as changing State requirement, through a sequential series of smaller projects over a number of years in order to stay under the five percent debt limit cap.  The proposed amendment to the State Constitution would eliminate this.

The NYS Association of Small City School Districts have garnered the support of the New  York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), the New  York State  Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), New York  State Association of School Business Officials (ASBO), the NYS Education Conference Board, NYS legislative support through concurrent resolutions passed through the legislature in 2022 and 2023 to amend the constitution and a 2023 bill to set small city school district debt limit at ten percent in statute should the voters in NYS approve the November proposal.

Small City School Districts view this critical issue and vote as a matter of equity and fairness for students, school districts and communities across New York State.  We strongly ask for you to support the vote for small city school districts in this November’s elections and vote.


Members of the Batavia City School District Board of Education

John Marucci, President

John Reigle, Vice-President

Korinne Anderson

Alice Ann Benedict

Barbara Bowman

Jennifer Lendvay

Chez’eray Rolle

Jason A. Smith, Batavia City School District Superintendent of Schools

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