Senator Robach Challenges Governor's School Aid Proposal

Joseph E. Robach

January 31, 2008

             New York State Senator Joe Robach today called on Governor Spitzer to restore funding cuts to school districts in Monroe County included in his 2008-2009 School Aid Proposal.  Senator Robach was joined by Greece School Superintendent Steven Achramovitch and Greece School Board President Roger Boily.

            When compared to the promised school aid formula contained in last year's budget, the Governor's proposal calls for an overall $21 million cut in school aid for Monroe County school districts, every school district in the county is scheduled to receive less money than promised by the current formula including a cut of over $2.4 million in aid for the Greece School District and a cut in aid of over $2.7 million for Rochester City schools.  This cut in school aid effectively reverses provisions of the State Budget last year that guaranteed school districts a predictable funding increase in school aid over the next four years.

            Senator Robach said, “The Governor’s proposed school aid cuts are unacceptable and pose a potential financial threat to the families and taxpayers throughout Monroe County.  This is only year two of a four-year promise, passed by the state legislature and signed into law by the Governor, to adequately fund education in our community.  Unfortunately, while the Governor has promised funding for some projects in our community, it appears that he is balancing this increased support with decreases in education funding.  With these cuts, I feel that for every step forward we make, we are being forced to take two steps backwards.”

            Greece School Superintendent Steven Achramovitch said, “This reduction in state aid has left us with a tremendous financial hurdle as we begin the 2008-09 school budget planning process. We are grateful to Senator Robach for his efforts to secure additional school aid for the Greece Central School District and all Monroe County districts."

            Greece School Board President Roger Boily said, “Under the Governor’s proposal, the Greece School Board will be faced with having to make decisions about which programs for students will need to be scaled back.  When we were told last year that we could count on a certain level of support, we appropriately planned ahead and now that has changed.  I want to thank Senator Robach for his strong support of education and we are happy to stand together with him as he fights to restore these cuts.”

            While the Governor’s school aid proposal calls for a $21 million decrease in funding for school districts in Monroe County and the City of Rochester, it proposes an almost $200 million increase for New York City.  If the decrease in aid were proposed across the board, although still difficult and not preferable, this could be perceived as fair for all districts across the state.

            Senator Robach added, “I represent the two largest schools districts in this area, the Greece Central School District and the Rochester City School District.  Both have been acknowledged as needing additional state funding support.  However, both stand to lose well over two million dollars each in school aid under Governor Spitzer’s school aid proposal.  My focus has always been on fighting for our fair share of state funding support and I pledge to continue to do just that as we enter into budget negotiations.  Whether it is obtaining education aid for our schools or state aid for localities, I am proud to lead these efforts for our community.”