Utica, NY (WIBX) - An important tour took place this afternoon, as local officials look for ways to improve the quality of education in our region. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Superintendent of Schools, Bruce Karam, organized the visit for Billy Easton, a leading expert on education funding and policy. "To see first-hand some of the issues that we're facing. His organization is really a grass roots organization that's been doing a great job bringing some of these issues to light, some of these problems these high-needs districts are facing so, he's here in Utica today to take a tour of Proctor and some of the others schools to see what's going on," Brindisi explained.

Easton, who heads the Alliance for Quality Education, says the main problem is the lack of adequate state funding. He said, "Everybody is committed, no matter what the resources are, to give kids the best possible education they can but the bottom line is that the state has got to step up to the plate and make sure that districts like Utica-- students in Utica, and the surrounding area--have the class room resources that they really need to compete in today's world."

A couple of solutions cited: Increase efforts to restructure the state funding formula to bring more dollars to struggling school districts, and adjusting testing requirements to take into account, Utica's large immigrant and refugee population.

Jeanette Lenoir, WIBX