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Concerned Canton Central parents and community members at a meeting this fall to organize lobbying efforts for state aid.  Photo: David Sommerstein
Concerned Canton Central parents and community members at a meeting this fall to organize lobbying efforts for state aid. Photo: David Sommerstein

Canton schools say 3% state aid increase not enough

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his annual budget earlier this week, and since then school superintendents have been figuring out what it will mean for their districts. Canton Central Schools Superintendent Bill Gregory presented his findings to the Board of Education Thursday night.

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Julie Grant
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He says when the state school aid numbers first came out Tuesday afternoon, it looked like the district might get close to a 10 percent increase in state funding. Gregory says that would have been great.

"But once we got studying the numbers, it was clear that something was wrong."

Some key numbers had been left out of the state calculation. Once Gregory added those numbers back in, instead of a 10 percent hike, it was just shy of a three percent hike in state aid.

According the Glens Falls Post Star and the Watertown Daily Times, some districts, such as Glens Falls, Clifton-Fine, and Colton-Pierrepont, will actually get less state money than last year.

Gregory says he's glad his district is on the plus side this year.

"Well that's good, but we're facing a gap now of about $2 million. That type of aid is not going to help us bridge that gap effectively."

Canton and many other districts are looking at the governor's new education proposals for help. One would help districts stabilize the huge increases their facing in pension costs. Gregory says his board of education will need to look at that program, use of its fund balance, and a possible tax hike, to avoid more programming cuts in the coming year.

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