NYS Association of Small City School Districts
Breakfast Seminar At the Council of School Superintendent’s 2024 Winter Institute

March 4, 2024 at 7:30 am
Albany Capital Center (55 Eagle Street, Albany) Meeting Room 2A

Speaker: Dr. Bruce Baker,Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami.
Built on a Foundation of Sand: Fixing New York State’s Foundation Aid Formula to Provide Adequate Education to All (2023).


Please email RSVP to beb@biggerstaff-firm.com.


Small city school districts have an impact on the entire state.
There are 57 small city school districts spread all across New York State, from Niagara Falls to Troy
 and from Ogdensburg to Long Beach and Glen Cove.

Small city school districts are large districts.
Small city school districts are twice the average size of other school districts and are situated
in urban areas with 1.5 million residents.

 Small city school districts serve a large portion of the state’s students.
Small city school districts serve a large portion (15%) of the state’s students outside NYC.
Small city school districts serve approximately twice the number of students than the
“Big 4” school districts of Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Yonkers combined (in round numbers:
240,000 vs. 120,000) or two-thirds of urban students outside NYC. 

Small city school districts teach many of the state’s most vulnerable children.
Small city school districts serve high percentages of poor students; on average 55% of the districts’ children
qualify for free and reduced priced lunch based on family income.

What Is A Small City School District? Small city school districts are defined in New York State Law as the school districts of each city which, according to the latest federal census, has fewer than one 125,000 inhabitants.  There are currently 57 small city school districts in New York State.Small city school districts serve nearly a quarter of a million children and employ more than 20,000 teachers and staff.  These districts have approximately twice the student enrollment than the average district in the state and, collectively, they serve communities totaling more than 1.5 million residents.  As a result, small city school districts have many of the same demographic characteristics as the five large city school districts in New York State.  These characteristics include higher percentages of disadvantaged students, limited English proficient students, dropouts and students with special educational needs.  Small city school districts are also typically characterized by higher percentages of families living on incomes below 200% of the poverty level, minority children, unemployment and single parent families.The New York State Association of Small City School Districts (NYSASCSD) was organized in 1985, and incorporated in 1986, by a group of concerned superintendents and board members.  NYSASCSD is a not-for-profit Association comprised of small city school districts each represented by its superintendent and board of education.Small city school district superintendents and board members who are members of the Association have traditionally looked at issues from a small city’s perspective with particular focus on the children and parents living and working in our urban settings.  Small city school districts continually strive to develop fiscally responsible and developmentally appropriate education programs for all their students.