Assembly delivers more funds for Niskayuna & Schenectady

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Assembly members Phil Steck, D-Colonie, and Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, successfully lobbied for additional state money to go to the Schenectady City School District and Niskayuna School Districts for their 2013-2014 budgets.

The Schenectady City School District will receive $200,000 of additional unrestricted aid and the Niskayuna School District will receive $100,000 of additional unrestricted aid, according to Steck. He said the additional funding signals recognition by the Democratic leadership in the Assembly of the funding problems in Schenectady school district.

Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring said the money was unexpected good news, but noted that it wouldn’t impact the planned tax levy. In determining how the funds should be used, he stressed, "This is a real one shot form of money that we couldn’t count on in the future.”

Because it is not recurring funding, he said they will try to identify a one-time use of the funds that could have a lasting impact, like building a health clinic. Spring said a health clinic mostly just requires start up funds and then runs on Medicaid funding for the future.

According to Steck, the money was unallocated in the state budget and the leadership in his party listened to the concerns of him and Santabarbara. He said this showed how junior legislators can make an impact if they're persistent and present a cogent argument.

In a statement, Steck added, "While we wish we could have gotten more help for the district this time around, this is a good starting point.”

Santabarbara said in a statement, "We fought for additional funding because all of our kids deserve a quality education that gives them the tools they need to be successful, and taxpayers just can’t afford to make up the difference.”

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