Johns: Cuomo’s School Aid Proposal Shortchanges Area Schools

January 25, 2012

Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster) said today that he is concerned by the School Aid portion of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget. The four schools in the assemblyman’s district combined sustained more than $21 million in cuts in school aid last year in order to help close a multi-billion deficit. These schools were only afforded about $1 million out of the $290 million the governor committed to return to schools. Downstate school districts are being granted a larger portion of the restorative funds.

“Regional politics have held our community’s students hostage for years,” said Johns. “Cuts made last year disproportionately hurt upstate New York, and the governor’s suggested School Aid restorations only continue the bias toward New York City schools by helping them recuperate aid at a higher rate. The restorations offered to schools in the 135th Assembly District simply do not make up for what was lost last year. I am committed to fighting for our kids’ fair share.”

Johns cites that schools continue to suffer from several costs which are on the rise due to pensions and other mandated expenses. Johns believes these costs are leaving unique educational opportunities and enrichment programs for our students on the cutting table.

Schools in Johns’ district, on average, would get back about five percent under Cuomo’s plan. New York City schools, however, would receive roughly 16 percent. New York City is being offered nearly three times what Penfield, Fairport, East Rochester and Webster school districts could obtain. Johns has called this process patently unfair and biased.

If funds are repaid to area schools at the current rates, it could take approximately 17 years for East Rochester, Fairport and Webster and close to 50 years for Penfield to realize a full restoration of funds. Johns has pledged to fight for a fairer restoration of the lost school aid to his district schools as budget deliberations continue.