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Letter: State officials must restore Foundation Aid for schools

State officials must restore Foundation Aid for schools

It’s almost April 1, which means it’s time for three men in Albany to decide the fate of our children’s education.

While the New York State budget process is arguably suspect, what is more distressing is the unwillingness of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Senate to fully stand behind our schools.

Since 2008, Albany has been making excuses for not coming up with the necessary Foundation Aid to help our most impoverished schools. This shortchanging of students has to end.

Fortunately, the New York State Assembly, as it often does, is standing up for our kids and proposing that the long-withheld Foundation Aid be restored over the next four years. This money, ordered by the State Court of Appeals as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, is desperately needed in the Buffalo School District.

The Assembly is also proposing $200 million for community schools, which would transform our struggling schools into neighborhood centers that serve the needs of students and the community.

I applaud the Assembly’s plan and urge our governor and State Senate to support the Assembly’s proposal of $2.13 billion in school aid funding with $1.1 billion earmarked for Foundation Aid.

James Payne

Chairman, Citizen Action of Western New York