Tuition plan is opportunity

Leave it to New York state to muddy the waters.

On Tuesday, Ripley Central School district residents will be voting on a proposal to tuition students in grades seven to 12 to Chautauqua Lake Central School. As documented in a community meeting last month, the number of programs offered at the school has dwindled with the student population.

In 1992-93, the district had about 530 students. This year, there are about 300.

So where does New York state’s mixed message come in? From the aid proposal by the governor, which offers the Ripley district more than $6 million for 2013-14, an increase of $418,183 or 7.5 percent from this year.

As a vote on possible tuitioning neared, the state has once again wrongly floated a life preserver to a district going under water in terms of finances and curriculum.

We urge voters in the district to approve the tuitioning plan despite the state’s flawed funding formula. Students, as part of the tuitioning plan, will benefit from increased educational opportunities in academics, extracurricular activities and athletics.

Staying the same path – despite the aid increase proposal – only lessens future educational opportunities for students at the school.