Westbury SD says it's owed $400 million in state foundation aid

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WESTBURY -

The Westbury School District says it is owed about $400 million in state foundation aid for the past 10 years.

"Can you imagine what I could do with that amount of money?" Superintendent Eudes Budhai asked News 12.

Last October, several of Long Island school districts, including Westbury, filed a civil rights complaint accusing the state Department of Education of educational racism. Critics claim that poorer districts get hit the hardest because of increased enrollment, low wealth and a high number of English-language learners.

Budhai says the middle school has some classes held in the gym and "everywhere you can possibly imagine in this building."

Some classes have as many as 35 students.

Students complain that their lockers are too small and don't actually lock or stay locked.

And Westbury Middle School is packed, with 1,200 students going from class to class in four minutes.

Taxpayers say the district should get all the money that it's owed.

"Education is the key to success," says Jean Joseph, of Westbury.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed $338 million in aid for public schools, but local districts, lawmakers and the state education officials say that number falls far short of what's needed to achieve equity in education.

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