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1000 high school students will gather at the New York State Museum today. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonparis/">JasonParis</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
1000 high school students will gather at the New York State Museum today. Photo: JasonParis, CC some rights reserved

Canton/ Potsdam students headed to protest in Albany

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About 1,000 high school students and teachers from around New York are traveling to Albany Wednesday to lobby lawmakers to increase spending on schools. A busload of 30 students from Canton and Potsdam will be among them.

When leaders in the Canton Central schools worry publicly about losing sports, arts, pre-kindergarten, and other programs because they're going broke, they're not alone. A recent survey of New York school superintendents found that a quarter of districts in the North Country think they'll be insolvent in two years if things don't change.

Chad Raddock is organizing concerned districts under the group Educate New York-Now. He says 15 busloads of students and teachers are on their way to Albany.

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Julie Grant
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"And they're all coming to Albany to protest the cuts to education and remind the government and the politicians that education is a constitutional obligation that the government has, and they need to fund it properly."

Raddock says the state balanced its budget a few years ago partly by cutting $3 billion in education funding. Those cuts affect districts each year. Last year, Governor Cuomo added about $800 million to education, but Raddock says it's not enough to make up for the loss.

"I feel like the state has abandoned our students. That they really just don't understand what it takes to run a school district. And when you have people from all across the state that run districts on a daily basis that know what kids need to succeed, and we're all talking to the politicians in Albany about it. Nobody's paying attention."

Raddock says the students are coming to Albany to lobby for changes to the school funding formula, and to ask lawmakers to rethink the tax cap, that limits how much money districts can raise in their communities.

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