Still no word on local education aid; teachers worry over their futures

By WKTV News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Even with a state budget in place, a hot topic still being debated is education aid. Students K through 12 will soon head back to school but some 7,000 teachers statewide still aren't sure about their futures.

The Secretary Treasurer of the State United Teachers Union, Lee Cutler, is so mad over the situation, he can't even find the words, "the fact that our state legislature will not come back to appropriate the funds....the funds that are save jobs and provide programs for our children is just, I can't even find the adjective it is so inexcusable," he said.

The state budget was passed three weeks ago. NEWSChannel 2 knows it includes a $1.4 billion cut to school aid. What we don't know is how much local districts will actually get for the upcoming school year, "take for instance a kindergarten teacher," Cutler added. "To get the money in September is useless. Those kindergartners already missed out on their opportunity."

Cutler will admit the future looks bright. "Race to the Top" funding is on its way, as well as money from a federal jobs bill that was passed this month but that's for 365 days from now. He's worried about what will happen in two weeks if those teachers aren't re-hired, "A first grader learning to read, it's their only year to learn to read. So a budget cut may sound insignificant in your life or my life but in the life of a student, this could be life changing."

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