Molly McCarthy. Elmira Star-Gazette. 4/22/2006.

Members of the Steuben County chapter of League of Women Voters of New York State will meet today to discuss how public education is funded in the state.

They also hope to reach an agreement on whether the current funding plan is best for students and taxpayers, said Joan Mistretta, secretary-treasurer of the group.

The local chapter is participating in a 15-month study sponsored by the state League of Women Voters that will emphasize charter schools, the STAR program, how gambling is used to fund education and how to raise funds to finance the Campaign for Fiscal Equity Relief on a statewide basis.

Among the questions the league hopes to answer are:

•“What is the campaign for fiscal equity and what does it require the state to do?”

•“How is education currently funded in New York state?”

•“Is the STAR program equitable in the relief it provides to taxpayers?”

League member Becky Holder will lead the discussion, which is open to the public.

This will be the fourth time since the 1970s that the study has been conducted, said Marian Bott, off-board specialist for education for the state League of Women Voters. About 26 local league chapters are participating.

“This is a major commitment on the part of the league to do (the study),” Bott said.

The league's Steuben chapter will meet at 10 a.m. today at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bath.

New York residents will vote on school budgets May 16.