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Auburn school superintendent optimistic after advocacy meetings with state legislators

Auburn Enlarged City School District Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said he felt good about recent advocacy meetings he had with state representatives and inadvertently learned some interesting information afterward.

Pirozzolo said at a board of education meeting Tuesday that he, assistant superintendent for personnel and operations, Jeff Evener, and assistant superintendent for student services, Camille Johnson, went to Albany last week to meet with representatives to advocate for the district. The district has argued for years that it does not receive its fair share of state aid.

The district's representatives met with state Sen. Shelley Mayer and Sen. James Seward on March 4 and Sen. Robert Antonacci and Assemblyman Gary Finch on March 5. Pirozzolo said Seward asked him how much the district receives per pupil in foundation aid. Foundation aid is the base aid districts receive from the state. Pirozzolo said that he didn't know the answer right away but after getting a calculator, he said the district receives $7,158 in foundation aid per pupil.

Pirozzolo said he later asked Evener to calculate the foundation aid per pupil received by the small-city school districts in the state that Auburn is comparable to. He said that out of the comparable small school districts they looked at, Auburn had the second lowest foundation aid amount per pupil.

Out of the nine components within the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, Pirozzolo said Auburn received the least amount of foundation aid per pupil. He said that average was a little over $9,000. He said that would be over $7 million worth of revenue that would come to Auburn. He said he plans to use those figures when advocating for the district.

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