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NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD BOARD WRESTLES WITH STATE AID CUTS

The Niagara-Wheatfield School Board attempted Wednesday to deal with proposed cuts in state aid that remove at at least $180,720 from the district's 1990-91 budget.

School Superintendent Joel Radin said said the latest calculations in Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget cuts paint a bleak picture for Niagara-Wheatfield this year and one for next year that is even worse.

Radin said the board could have major financial problems because the state education aid picture "is not going to get better before it gets worse." It is "conceivable" that cuts could total as much as $350,000 this year, he noted.

Board President Michael DeFelice said he was worried that most lobbying efforts directed at extending state aid would benefit only larger and wealthier school districts.

Radin noted there would be a joint effort of various groups to lobby the State Legislature, and local state legislators already have been contacted.

In a related matter, the board agreed to define the level of participation outside groups would have during budget deliberations. Under direction of the board, the superintendent has invited representatives of other groups to attend budget sessions. During the last budget process, several persons accused the board of limiting input.

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