Local schools were represented in Tuesday action in Albany urging lawmakers to address financial issues facing state schools, including inequality between richer and poorer districts. Most area schools are in the latter classification.
Unatego Central School Superintendent Charles Molloy said he had meetings during the day with legislators involved with the process as part of an effort by DCMO BOCES. He was part of a busload from the school, sponsored by the state Alliance of Quality Education, that included students, board members and administrators who went to appeal to legislators and attend a midday rally.
Molloy said legislators felt the budget would be passed by April 1. However, he said, some lawmakers were still trying to convince them to add state aid to an earlier proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
This included a cut to state aid, known as a gap elimination adjustment, that was part of Cuomo’s plans to balance the state budget.
If Unatego could have that cut of more than $800,000 restored, the district would be able to balance its budget, he said. Without it, he was concerned that the school would wipe out its fund balance reserves, leaving it unable to meet future needs.
Walton interim Superintendent George Mack also participated in the lobbying, with board member Rhonda Williams, though they were not at the rally. Mack said area legislators were aware of the unfair distribution and were doing their best to provide additional assistance.