A bill sponsored by State Senator Patty Ritchie that saves taxpayer dollars by restoring more than a million dollars in transportation aid to the Fulton City School District has been passed by the state Senate.
The loss of transportation aid stemmed from a clerical error, which would be corrected through the legislation sponsored by Senator Ritchie and Assemblyman Barclay (S.5152/A.7228).
“Our local school districts work very hard to make ends meet and provide students with the best education possible,” said Senator Patty Ritchie.
“For the Fulton City School District—and any school district, for that matter—the loss of a million dollars would mean missed opportunities for students. I am pleased that this legislation, which ensures the Fulton City School District and taxpayers aren’t penalized for an unintentional error has passed the Senate and am hopeful it will be signed into law.”
In November of 2014, the Fulton City School District Board of Education extended its contract with its transportation service provider for the 2016-2017 school year, but due to an inadvertent clerical error, the contract extension was never sent to the Department of Education—and its transportation aid expired.
“I cannot thank Senator Ritchie and Assemblyman Barclay enough for going to bat for our district and students,” Fulton City School District Superintendent Brian Pulvino said.
Because the Fulton City School District never received a notice that its transportation aid was about to expire, it was unaware the contract extension had not been filed. The district realized the inadvertent mistake in the fall of 2017, when school officials were checking on the status of the aid.
Upon realizing the error, the district contacted the State Education Department, but was informed it no longer had the ability to authorize the funding, even though it believed the school should still receive it.
The legislation sponsored by Senator Ritchie and Assemblyman Barclay allows the clerical error to be corrected, and provides the State Education Department with the authority to consider the contract valid and eligible for transportation funding.