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"You know I think it is a big victory. It shows that the advocacy is being heard down here in Albany, and people are starting to pay attention."
Russell says this is just the beginning of the advocacy needed for north country schools.
"This is really a warmup, as next year is going to be even more challenging for school district budgets. So we have been able to have an impact, and we’ll have to keep this effort sustained for a full year. This is not just an issue for this year. It gets even worse as our school district budgets are exhausted over the next year or two."
Russell says north country schools need the state to fix the school aid formula, and restore money taken for the gap elimination adjustment.
In the new state budget, she says the 200-million dollars transferred back to schools will be split between those two types of funding.
Russell says additional education money was restored to fund libraries and adult literacy programs.