New York State Rural Schools Association bestows "Appreciation Award" to senator at annual conference
State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan was honored Monday night with the New York State Rural Schools Association "Appreciation Award" for his advocacy and leadership on behalf of the rural schools and students of New York state. The New York State Rural Schools Association presented the award to Gallivan at its annual conference at the Otesaga Resort in Cooperstown.
"Where a family chooses to live should not determine the quality of a child's education in this state. Being raised and educated in a rural setting myself, I understand that ensuring rural students are given the same opportunities and advantages as students in high-wealth districts is a fundamental responsibility of state government," Gallivan said. "I am proud to have worked with advocacy groups, school leaders and fellow legislators to restore cuts that have disproportionally impacted rural students, and I look forward to continued progress in the years to come."
Gallivan has also emphasized agriculture as an important component of upstate's economic future by introducing and expanding opportunities for agriculture-in-the-classroom in numerous school districts in Western New York.
Bruce Fraser, executive director of the New York State Rural Schools Association, said, "Sen. Gallivan is a champion for the fair distribution of state aid to schools. He recognizes that low property-wealth school districts have been disproportionately hurt by cuts in state aid, making it necessary that any increases in state aid be distributed in a highly wealth-equalizing manner. Sen. Gallivan's willingness to fight for the needs of rural school districts across the state are most deeply appreciated."
Dr. Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium, and Dr. Michael Glover, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, nominated Gallivan for The Rural Schools Association Appreciation Award. In their joint letter of nomination, Timbs and Glover stated, "In our combined 35 years as superintendents, we have never worked with a more open, transparent or courageous state elected official who advocated for rural schools & the children who attend them."
Created in 1978 and housed at Cornell University in Ithaca, the New York State Rural Schools Association is a statewide organization, representing the interests of, initiating research for, and providing service and information to the small and rural school districts of New York state. Approximately 300 school districts and BOCES units are currently enrolled as members of RSA.