Cornell will increase its voluntary, unrestricted contribution to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) by $150,000 per year, from $500,000 to $650,000, beginning this year, university officials announced.
The 30% funding increase comes midway into an existing five-year agreement. In 2021, Cornell had committed $500,000 annually to aid the school district. Recent discussions between ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown and members of the university’s senior leadership led Cornell President Martha E. Pollack to further boost the voluntary contribution commitment to $650,000 per year and extend the new funding level through June 2031.
“We are pleased to be able to provide this additional support for the Ithaca City School District’s important operations,” Pollack said. “By increasing and extending assistance to the district, we are helping to mitigate ongoing, significant demands on the district’s budget and helping to ensure a strong school system, which is vital to the larger community, including Cornell.”
The university has a long history of support to the local schools, with the first voluntary payment to the district made in 1975.
“These funds will help to maintain a strong K-12 school system, which is so essential for our community and a vital asset for faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students considering a move to Ithaca to join Cornell,” Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff said. “We are delighted to continue and extend our close partnership with ICSD, which includes many programs of benefit to teachers and students.”
The funds are unrestricted, which means the district may use them as needed in its 12 schools in the city of Ithaca, the village of Cayuga Heights, and the towns of Ithaca, Caroline and Enfield, which serve parts of neighboring municipalities including Lansing, Danby, Dryden and Ulysses.
“The senior leadership at Cornell University has been very supportive of our school district’s endeavors,” said ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown. “I hope to allocate this most recent generous financial contribution toward our targeted efforts to retain excellent employees across our organization.”
“We are extremely thankful for Cornell’s additional contribution to the Ithaca City School District and look forward to continued partnerships and innovation in the years ahead,” said Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, president of the ICSD Board of Education and assistant professor of education at Ithaca College.