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Local superintendent fears unequal distribution of state money in budget

By HILARY LANE

HERKIMER COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Governor Andrew Cuomo has allocated almost $1 billion for school funding and new educational programs in his 2013-2014 Executive Budget.

This includes $25 million for a full day Pre- Kindergarten program for lower-wealth districts based on a competitive process, $11 million for annual stipends for the most effective teachers, and $20 million for school districts that increase learning time by 25 percent, whether it be by lengthening the school day or school year.

However, Herkimer County BOCES Superintendent Mark Vivacqua said local schools may not receive their fair share of the funds.

"Not a lot of the money usually comes to Herkimer County," said Vivacqua "That's a very difficult thing."

Vivacqua said there isn't enough money for the state to fund these programs in all schools, therefore only some student benefit. In the past, it has not been local students.

"With a lot of these competitive grants the schools have to be a certain size, and our schools are too small," said Vivacqua. " All of our schools are poor but they aren't poor as South Bronx or other areas thankfully so we tend to get cut out these things.

Vivacqua said he is not giving up just yet. The school districts he represents will be applying for all state grants available.

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