Changes in state education aid will mean even less money for districts in Chenango

EAST SYRACUSE – The Syracuse-based Statewide School Finance Consortium weighed-in on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $132.5 million budget Tuesday, focusing primarily on its 4 percent increase – or $805 million – in state education aid.

The SSFC – which represents more than 350 school districts across the state, including those in Chenango County – is comprised largely of mid- to low-wealth districts which have suffered over the years due to inequities in state aid, according to SSFC Executive Director Dr. Rick Timbs.

In November, Timbs met with members of the Chenango County School Boards Association to discuss long-standing disparities in state aid. Earlier this month, a group of 17 New York State senators – including the 52nd district’s Thomas Libous and 51st district’s James Seward – joined forces to bring the issue to the governor’s attention.

“We give credit to Governor Cuomo for keeping his promise to restore $805 million to schools for 2012-2013. He is putting the needs of New York’s students first and no one can fault him for that,” said Timbs, a former school administrator, educator and union president. “We also applaud the first steps the governor has proposed on mandate reform covering pension reform, teacher disciplinary hearing costs and the creation of a statewide system for school bus purchases.”

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