Section 10-d of part A of chapter 56 of the laws of 2021, as amended by §5-b of part A of chapter 56 of the laws of 2022, requires school districts receiving a foundation aid increase of more than 10% or $10,000,000 to create plans on how these funds will be used to address student performance and need. These plans are required in advance of the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 school years. For Mohonasen this requirement pertains to the increase for 2023-24. Plans for the 2023-24 school year must be completed, submitted to the New York State Education Department, and posted to district websites by July 1, 2023. The plan has been submitted and approved by the the New York State Education Department.
Each district subject to this requirement is required to:
- Seek public comment from parents, teachers, and other stakeholders;
- Take public comments into account in the development of the plan;
- Include an analysis of public comments within the plan;
- Describe in the plan how the foundation aid increase will be used, including portions of the increase used to address the priority areas identified by law;
- Post the plan on the district website; and
- Submit the plan to the State Education Department in a form prescribed by the Department to be posted publicly.
Plans are required to cover only the foundation aid increase. The plan should not cover how the district intends to use its entire foundation aid amount. Describe in the plan how the foundation aid increase will be used, along with key goals, metrics, or ratios, and the community feedback reflected for portions of the increase used to address any of the following priority areas, as well as any additional areas identified by the district:
- Increasing graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap;
- Reducing class sizes;
- Providing supports for students who are not meeting, or at risk of not meeting, state learning standards in core academic subject areas;
- Addressing student social-emotional health;
- Providing adequate resources to English language learners, students with disabilities; and students experiencing homelessness.
Use of Foundation Aid Increase
The Mohonasen Central School District plans to use its Foundation Aid increase to address the following priority areas, as described below.
1. Increasing graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap
Key Goals, Metrics, or Ratios: Graduation rates at the high school increasing to 90%, increases of students reading on grade level in grades K-3, increases in state test scores. Implementation of new reading series HMH-Into Reading K-5 and piloting grade 6. Goal to increase ELA scores. K-8 Eureka Math/Great Minds to increase math scores.
Community Feedback Reflected: Providing additional support in core classes, including extended time for courses to be completed and additional assistance to pass state exams at the high school level. Each building also has shared decision making teams which include community members, faculty/staff, and administrators, with the committees informing program and staffing decisions.
New Foundation Aid Funds to Support Initiative: $1,875,000
2. Reducing class sizes
Key Goals, Metrics, or Ratios: Reduced target sizes in grades K-6. There are now 21 students in grades K-1, 23 students in grades 2-3 and 25 students in grades 4-6.
Community Feedback Reflected: Received feedback from parents and staff regarding the importance of class sizes through BOE meetings and community feedback.
New Foundation Aid Funds to Support Initiative: $595,000
3. Providing supports for students who are not meeting, or at risk of not meeting, state learning standards in core academic subject areas
Key Goals, Metrics, or Ratios: Provide lower class sizes related to academic intervention services so that students can receive more individualized attention.
Community Feedback Reflected: Incorporated feedback regarding addressing individual skills in a small group academic setting for students who struggle and/or had gaps from the pandemic.
New Foundation Aid Funds to Support Initiative: $1,105,000
4. Addressing student social-emotional health
Key Goals, Metrics, or Ratios: Lower the ratio of students to mental health supports throughout the district.
Community Feedback Reflected: Used a K-12 district wide survey of SEL (social emotional learning) as well as a parent survey to get feedback on the needs of the community. These results were then used to address any gaps in mental health needs of our students.
New Foundation Aid Funds to Support Initiative: $622,700
5. Providing adequate resources to English language learners, students with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness
Key Goals, Metrics, or Ratios: Continue the support already in place for these students. In addition, added an extra section of a special education skills program at the K-2 level for our most needy students.
Community Feedback Reflected: Assessment of this program will be determined by student achievement on standardized test scores and eventual ability to mainstreamed with their peers.
New Foundation Aid Funds to Support Initiative: $165,000
Other Priority Areas
1. Student Supplies/Field Trips
Key Goals, Metrics, or Ratios: Increased student engagement, both in their academics by being properly prepared and due to field trips that will make connections between their academics.
Community Feedback Reflected: Providing student supplies so that all students come to school ready to learn, also paying for 1 academic field trip per grade level to meet the financial needs of the community.
New Foundation Aid Funds to Support Initiative: $250,000
Analysis of public comment from parents, teachers, and other stakeholders
Public comments were taken throughout the budget process. This was done at the building level from staff members and administrators as well as building level shared decision making teams. Throughout budget development public presentations about use of funds were done from January of 2023 through budget adoption and the eventual budget vote. Each meeting allows for public comment and this input was incorporated into district priorities.