March 1-
Ossining for Fair Funding is calling on New York State Elected Officials to address and fix the severe state underfunding of the District.  With the release of the Executive Budget, and past unsubstantial action by Albany, the Ossining Union Free School District is slated to be the lowest Foundation Aid funded school district in all of New York. Ossining students are due to receive ONLY 40% of our allocated Foundation Aid Funding versus the state average of 80%.
Ossining For Fair Funding Co-Founder Ben Zebelman said: “Our State representatives, especially in the GOP/IDC Senate are ignoring the fact that our needs have changed significantly in the past ten years here in Ossining.  They are ignoring the fact that our District has grown considerably.  Where are the financial solutions?  Why are they abandoning our children?  These are questions we have, and we won’t stop asking them, or advocating until the Ossining School District gets the fair funding it deserves.  Our children’s FULLY funded Foundation Aid is their New York Constitutional right.”


Since the Foundation Aid Formula was established in 2008, Ossining has experienced:
  • 24% increase in enrollment (963 students);
  • 53% increase in free and reduced price lunch applicants;
  • 59% increase in students with extraordinary needs;
  • 70% increase in students living in poverty;
  • and a 31% decrease in the combined wealth ratio (a measure of community wealth).


Excluding school districts that are over-funded, the average school district in New York is funded at 80% of its Foundation Aid. Ossining is supposed to receive over $27.5M this year and instead is slated to ONLY receive $11M leaving a $16M gap. The annually growing Foundation Aid gap in Ossining will continue to grow as our student needs and enrollment increase which is projected through at least 2025.


Ossining For Fair Funding Communications Director Jess Vecchiarelli said: “We are simply asking that we be funded at the SAME PERCENTAGE LEVEL as our peers, which is at least 80% of the fully phased-in amount.  There are districts in Westchester that have seen significant enrollment decreases, while Ossining has seen a significant increase, and they are getting more Foundation Aid than Ossining.  I hate to say ‘this is about politics and donors’ but lets call a spade a spade.”
For more information contact:
Ben Zebelman

Ossining For Fair Funding Co-Founder

Jess Vecchiarelli
Ossining for Fair Funding Communications Director