Senator Looks to Help Schools Facing Cuts After Budget Defeat
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that she has secured a special $160,000 state grant to help the General Brown School District, which is facing a new round of budget cuts following voters’ rejection of the district’s budget proposal.
The funding, from a special state fund controlled by the Senate, is specifically earmarked for the purchase of two replacements for school buses that were destroyed in a massive fire last year, giving the district more flexibility in its spending plan to meet other needs.
“School districts across Northern and Central New York have struggled with ways to balance their budgets and meet the educational needs of children, and I have been working hard to steer more aid to schools, including this year’s record increase in state education funding,” Senator Ritchie said. “But schools like General Brown need extra help, and I am pleased to have been able to secure this additional funding to help ensure continued quality education for our students.”
The grant is the second time in two years that Senator Ritchie has secured additional funding to help General Brown. In 2012, she delivered $200,000 in additional state aid.
In addition, the new state budget included a 7.1 percent increase in aid to General Brown—one of the largest one-year increases for a Northern New York school district this year. On average, state aid for schools increased about 5 percent this year.
Senator Ritchie notified the superintendent and school board members about the grant just prior to last night’s special budget meeting, at which the School Board approved a new budget request that holds taxes at the state-approved cap.
“As a parent and a taxpayer, I appreciate Senator Ritchie’s efforts to help General Brown schools,” said Sandra Young Klindt, a parent, who has just been elected to General Brown’s School Board . “Her quick action is an example of the type of attentiveness, advocacy and support our schools need.”School districts across Central and Northern New York are benefitting this year from the largest increase in state aid in four years--$25 million more than last year, or about $450 per student.