Nearly 85 percent of school districts in Oneida and Herkimer counties are spending less per student than the average for schools statewide, an O-D analysis of funding numbers shows.

Statewide, districts spend $18,768 per year on each child. But locally, Oneida County schools average $15,381 per student, and Herkimer County schools average $15,703.

And some districts are spending even less than that, according to data from the Empire Center for Public Policy.

* The Utica City School District spends $13,677 per child.


* The Ilion Central School District spends $13,594 per student.

Educators say the disparity means the quality of students’ education and the resources available to them can vary throughout the state.

“It does become an issue of equity,” said Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Superintendent Howard Mettelman. “The more money could be used to enhance other programs like adding advanced placement courses and programs other districts can’t.”

Central New York School Board Association Executive Director Larry Cummings said districts in Long Island had been the beneficiaries of much of the state’s education aid until recently.

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