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MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- The Middletown City School District is filing a lawsuit against the state, claiming school aid is discriminatory against large minority districts.
The school's lawyer presented the civil rights complaint Thursday night at a board meeting. The complaint will focus on race because it’s not illegal to discriminate against low income residents.
The Schenectady School District, another New York district with a large minority population and a high poverty rate, is filing a similar complaint.
Middletown Superintendent Dr. Ken Eastwood and school board members say that their school and other large minority districts are getting shortchanged on state school aid.
"We are a large minority school district and we're not able to get as much funding as its appropriate for us for the formula and that's all we're asking for. We're just asking for what's fair for us," said Linda Knapp, Middletown City School District School Board President.
"We hope the state will also self assess and look at why certain school districts have gotten 100 percent of their promised aid while others have only gotten 50 percent and why it seems to be desperate based on low income, based on minority status and based on larger population of English language learners," said Howard Miller, the school district's lawyer.
Officials with the two districts calculated that they receive approximately 55 percent of the state aid that they are entitled to under law.