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School Districts Not Impressed With Cuomo Push For Increased Aid

In his budget presentation Tuesday, Governor Cuomo proposed increase school aid by 3.8 percent. But some area school districts are not satisfied with the proposal.
In his budget presentation Tuesday, Governor Cuomo proposed increase school aid by 3.8 percent. But some area school districts are not satisfied with the proposal.

East Irondequoit Deputy Superintendent John Abbott says the budget leaves a lot of existing programs in their district significantly under-funded. In Abbott's district, school officials created programs and projects to make kids successful after high school. Abbott is worried Governor Cuomo's budget proposal will leave them with an inability to fund those programs.

"You can't take the aid designed to support your existing program, reduce it and say oh you [have] to continue to do all those things well because you have to do less," he said.

The aid they have received in the past is five percent less than they received last year, which is a huge concern. Abbott says every year the district is looking at a reduction in aid. 

"We provide transportation to East Rochester and save both districts a million dollars a year. We've done those things to keep cost under control we don't have a lot of things left to significantly reduce cost," he said.

"We've spend the past four budget cycles reducing staff, reducing programs, tightening our belts; we've done those things. We can't keep doing that and not have it affect [the] quality of education our children receive," he said.

Abbott says their budget gap for next year is about $1 million, something he did not see coming. East Irondequoit has already done a lot to control costs. 

"We provide transportation to East Rochester and save both districts $1 million a year. We've done those things to keep cost under control. We don't have a lot of things left to significantly reduce cost," he said. 

Abbott and other officials at East Irondequoit expected better news from Cuomo. They do not believe the state is keeping pace with their expectations. The budget will not be approved until April 1st at the latest. They are trying to get in touch with lawmakers to receive more funding. 


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