School boards commend legislative action aimed at delivering aid relief to school districts
Senate Education Committee advances key bills intended to restore building aid to local school districts
CONTACT: David Albert
The New York State School Boards Association today applauded the Senate Education Committee for advancing legislation that would provide relief to school districts facing severe state aid take backs due to clerical errors and missed filing deadlines related to building and transportation aid.
"The loss of millions of dollars in aid resulting from inadvertently filing paperwork late only deprives students of educational opportunities and places a greater burden on local taxpayers," said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. "Students should not be punished for a district administrative or clerical error."
The series of proposed legislation approved by the Senate Education Committee today would forgive the late filing and restore state building aid to a number of school districts, including the Chester Union Free School District, Roscoe Central School District, Newburgh Enlarged City School District, Huntington Union Free School District, Monticello Central School District and Mahopac Central School District. The committee also approved legislation to restore transportation aid for the Cold Spring Harbor Central School District.
Sean Michel, superintendent of the Chester Union Free School District in Orange County said, "We would like to thank Senator Skoufis and Assemblyman Schmitt for their continued support of the Chester School District by sponsoring our building aid forgiveness bill. The penalty, if imposed, would be devastating to our small school district. It is truly my hope that Governor Cuomo signs this bill so the children and taxpayers of Chester are not penalized for a clerical error that occurred over six years ago."
John Evans, superintendent of the Roscoe Central School District in Sullivan County said, "We can't thank Senators Metzger and Skoufis enough for making the building aid amnesty issue a priority this legislative session. They have been very vocal and outspoken about the importance of this issue and how devastating these penalties will be to our school. This penalty will mean cuts in staff and loss of programs for Roscoe CSD."
"While today’s action does not guarantee passage of this legislation in either house, it is a critical first step in ensuring that school districts, their students, employees and communities do not pay such a severe price for an oversight or inadvertent action," said NYSSBA President William Miller. "We look forward to seeing these bills, as well as similar legislation to aid additional districts that were not addressed today, advance through both houses."
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