LI school districts that serve mostly minority students fight for funding

Posted: Updated:
WESTBURY -

Some local school districts are suing for what they say is their fair share of funding.

Hundreds of students, along with school officials from Brentwood, Hempstead, Westbury and Wyandanch, held a rally in front of the state Supreme Court in Mineola Tuesday demanding millions of dollars in court-ordered state funding they say is owed to the districts this year.

Board of Education officials from the school districts have filed a civil rights complaint against New York state with the U.S. Education Office for Civil Rights. They say the state is engaging in educational racism.

School officials claim New York state owes 84 Long Island school districts almost $900 million in what is called foundation aid funding.

Half of that money, they say is owed to districts that are predominantly minority.

As a result, Board of Education officials and students say their districts have less staff, educational material and student services.

"Why do we as students have to suffer? We cannot keep putting our future on hold because we have been deprived of the the millions of dollars that our district needs," says Westbury High School student Alahna Perez.

News 12 reached out to New York state officials for a comment, but has not heard back.

The districts say they are in the planning stages for their trip to Albany.

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