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Addie Russell speaking to visiting students from Potsdam Middle School in the Assembly Chamber. Photo: NY Assembly website
Addie Russell speaking to visiting students from Potsdam Middle School in the Assembly Chamber. Photo: NY Assembly website

NC Assemblywoman says budget victory first step for school aid

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Assemblywoman Addie Russell of Theresa says there's some good news in the new state budget for North Country Schools. Governor Andrew Cuomo had proposed putting $250 million of education funding into a competitive grant program. Poor and rural schools said that would devastate their budgets. In Thursday's final agreement, Russell says $200 million of the competitive grant money was transferred back to the general education fund.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

"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.

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