Once we are past the immediate COVID-19 outbreak and can safely begin to resume normal activity, we will be faced with the challenge of recovering economically. School and municipal budgets are taking a big hit.

I have served on the Oneonta school board for six years, and I have worked firsthand in building responsible budgets and academic goals that serve student needs. This year and next year will be even more challenging with the budget decisions from Albany creating large gaps in resources. Every year the cost of delivering quality education to every student rises, but without matching support from Albany the pressure on local funding increases even more.

This is unsustainable, and we need to go after systemwide solutions to fix the inequities and ensure that all students in upstate communities have the support and opportunities they need to succeed. The funding shortfalls due to the pandemic shutdowns have exposed the weaknesses in the balance between local and state funding for our schools. This year, the state budget includes no increases, and they can take back money throughout the remainder of the year. This could create even larger obstacles than before for local schools. In order for our schools to meet the needs of our students we must have the full support of our state government, too. I realize that the pandemic has created revenue shortages in the state budget, but pulling back resources from our schools mortgages our future and is the wrong solution to this problem.

I am running for the 121st Assembly District seat to work for our future, our schools, and for a fair deal from Albany. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see more of my ideas for a fair deal for Central New York.

Dan Butterman

Oneonta

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