From Long Lake Central School, April 5, 2021
Long Lake CSD has not received any federal COVID-relief funding due to the funds being allocated based on a formula that leaves out schools like ours. We don’t fit the formula and as a result we have been left out and left behind. While there is $134,948,000 allocated for the North Country, Long Lake is not currently scheduled to receive any of that money.
To give some comparisons, some of our neighboring school districts will receive the following projected COVID-relief funding. It’s important to note that this does not include any previous funding received through two rounds of the CARES Act at the end of 2020. This is the third round of funding projection:
Wells CSD: $245,000
Lake Pleasant CSD: $199,000
Newcomb CSD: $153,000
Minerva CSD: $262,000
Johnsburg CSD: $808,000
Westport CSD: $702,000
Tupper Lake CSD: $984,000
Lake Placid CSD: $743,000
To see the full district-by-district breakdown you can visit this website. This will bring you to Senator Schumer’s webpage and then prompt you to download an Excel spreadsheet that is organized by region and county. You will notice that Indian Lake CSD is the only other school in the North Country that is not projected to receive any funding.
To note, I highlight the projected funding for our neighbors to simply make clear what Long Lake CSD deserves to receive. The same is true for Indian Lake CSD. I have worked closely with Indian Lake CSD Superintendent David Snide in our efforts to reach out to our representatives to make our story known. I believe that our neighbors deserve every dime of their projected funding and am asking our representatives to find a way for our district to receive comparable funding. The money is there. They just need to do the work to advocate on our behalf and find a solution.
Why aren’t we included? The money was allocated based on a formula that is reliant on past census data that doesn’t adequately represent our true population.
The money is allocated based on the Title I formula. The Title I formula is reliant on census data to identify schools based on need and it requires a minimum number as the threshold. According to the 2010 census, Long Lake CSD has 5 students between the ages of 5-17 that identify as living in poverty, which according to that same data represents 11% of our population. To be eligible for Title I funding, you need at least 10 students.
If our district’s poverty rate is the only means that qualifies our district for funding, we more than meet the requirement. Our Free and Reduced Lunch population, which is updated on an annual basis and more accurately represents our student population, is at 39% of our students. In sum, we have been knocked out of the funding because the census data is old and is only as good as the number of people who participate. Additionally, since the formula is based on a minimum number rather than a percentage, we do not qualify.
Long Lake Central School deserves funding just as much as any other school district. We have incurred significant financial expenses due to COVID and we also deserve the opportunity to invest in upgrades in technology, programming, and equipment that positions our school to better prepared for future challenges.
COVID knocked us all down, and it is only fair that all schools are given equitable access and support to get back up on our feet. While we are one of the few schools in the state that has been left out of any federal funding, I am confident that our elected officials at the state and federal levels can work together to find another funding source to correct this oversight.
Please join me and asking them to step up and speak out for us. Below is contact information for our elected officials. There is power in numbers, and whether you still live in Long Lake or not, as someone who is connected to our school, your time and support would mean a great deal.
Senator James Tedisco:
Albany Office: 518-455-2181
Office Addresses: https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/james-tedisco/contact
Assemblyman Robert Smullen:
Albaby Office: 518-743-0964
Office Addresses: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Robert-Smullen/contact/
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik:
DC Office: 202-225-4611
Glens Falls Office: 518-743-0964
Website Email and Office Addresses: https://stefanik.house.gov/contact
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
DC Office: 202-224-4451
Albany Office: 518-431-0120
Website Email: https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/email-me
Office Addresses: https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/office-locations
Senator Charles Schumer:
DC Office: 202-224-6542
Albany Office: (518) 431-4070
Website Email: https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/email-chuck
Office Addresses: https://www.schumer.senate.gov/contact/office-locations
Ms. Noelle Short
(518)624-2221 ext. 206