Tuition Funds New High School Syracuse City School District Has Plan For Funding New High School

The Syracuse City School District will cover STEAM school costs with tuition.

Maria Trivelpiece: The Syracuse City School District relies on property tax for 15 percent of its revenue. Because this tax has been flat or declining for two decades, the district struggles to pay for schools. Adding another building creates new expenses. But, C-F-O, Suzanne Slack, says the district has a solution.

Suzanne Slack: Folks coming from other school districts, their district will pay a tuition rate to help cover the cost of educating those children.

Maria Trivelpiece: And, with the projected success of the school, Slack thinks that the district’s plan will work.

Suzanne Slack: Once the school is up and running and people see how successful it is we are going to have to tell them we’re sorry because our seats are already full.

Maria Trivelpiece: The legislation is awaiting the approval of Governor Cuomo. Maria Trivelpiece N-C-C News.

By Maria Trivelpiece SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – New York lawmakers agreed to pay an estimated $75 million to the Syracuse City School District to renovate the old Central Tech Building. But once the renovations are completed, the district will have to pay for the upkeep of the school themselves.

Eighty percent of the Syracuse City School District’s funding has come from the state and 15 percent has come from the property taxes revenue. However, tax revenue has been stagnant or declining in the past two decades, which has made it difficult for the district to fund their schools. The addition of a new school will add more costs, but the district’s CFO, Suzanne Slack, said that they have been planned for.

“There will be a tuition charge to the districts sending their students here,” she said. “Folks coming from other school districts, their district will pay a tuition rate to help cover the cost of educating those children.”

Attempts were made in the past to renovate the Central Tech building, but with little success. The new school will be a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics high school. It was part of the Syracuse SURGE initiative developed by Mayor Ben Walsh. Slack said the amount of collaboration on this project will make the renovation successful.

“In the past, it was primarily a project to renovate the school alone,” she said. “What’s different this time is it’s really tied into a bigger picture of school districts, city, and county initiative.”

Slack said she believes that the school will become so popular that they will fill up all possible openings. And, because of this projected success, Slack said paying for the new building will be manageable.

“When you build something very successful, people are knocking on your door to get in,” she said. “And what’s going to be different about this STEAM school.”

Maria Trivelpiece: Hi, I’m Maria Trivelpiece here at the back of the old Central Tech high school on Warren Street. The Syracuse City School District plans to renovate this building and turn it into its new STEAM high school. They plan to do this by getting budgeted money from the state. It is all part of Mayor Ben Walsh’s plan, Syracuse Surge. For N-C-C News, I’m Maria Trivelpiece.

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Maria Trivelpiece

Maria Trivelpiece graduated magna cum laude with a double major in Journalism and Psychology at Fordham University. She is now pursuing her master's degree at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She hopes to pursue a career in sports television upon graduation.

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