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Ithaca schools seek $10M annual contribution from Cornell

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  • Staff Report 

The Ithaca City School District is negotiating with Cornell University for a $10 million annual contribution, significantly higher than the current $650,000 the Ivy League institution voluntarily pays.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

At a Wednesday night meeting, the Ithaca City School Board agreed to form an advisory board to negotiate the proposed annual donation. Mayor Robert Cantelmo expressed strong support for the effort, citing Cornell’s commitment to education and its significant presence in the district.

This request follows the rejection of an initial school budget that would have raised property taxes by 8.42%. As the district seeks alternative funding, community members emphasize the need for Cornell to contribute more, given its tax-exempt status and the financial strain on local residents. Currently, Cornell pays the city $4 million annually, up from $1.5 million previously. The advisory board will now gather additional information and look into similar successful negotiations in other cities before presenting the proposal to Cornell.