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Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel

North Country politicians, schools await state aid numbers

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North Country educators are waiting to hear what the new state budget will mean for their schools. The budget includes $805 million for education statewide. In the final agreement, State Senator Patty Ritchie says $200 million of that was transferred to high needs schools.

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Julie Grant
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"What we were last told that the majority of that money was going to be restored through the gap elimination aid to target lower wealth schools, so the majority is targeted to the schools that I represent."

Late yesterday, Canton Central still hadn’t heard what the state agreement would mean for their budget.  The district is facing a $2.5 million shortfall.  Leaders of a Canton parent’s group have said the re-allocation of $200 million in education aid won’t do much to help individual districts like Canton. 

Ritchie understands that, but she’s still pleased with the state agreement.

"I think it’s great news.  It’s something that these schools have been advocating for.  I don’t think this is the end game, because we still have an issue with the school aid formula, and the way the funding has been initially disbursed.  But this is something we’ll have to work on after the budget has been finalized.  This is certainly a step in the right direction and something that will be able to help the schools immediately."

District leaders expect to find out today or tomorrow how much money they will be receiving from the state this year.

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