UTICA - Some local school districts were underwhelmed when they saw this year's 'state aid runs', indicating how much state aid the district will get. What appeared a decent increase, upon closer examination, they say, was more like shifting of aid.
"So what they did is take all those expenses and lumped it into foundation aid to make it look like you're getting a much bigger chunk of money than you are," said Michele Albanese, School Business Official for the Utica City School District. "We did get an increase, but realistically, we were hoping for more."
More, to address pressing needs.
"Nowadays, there's a lot of issues. Mental health issues. We'd love to hire more psychologists, social workers and that takes money," said Albanese.
"Was there a lot more aid? No," said 101st District Assemblyman Brian Miller. "What should have been looked at is the wealth ratio. That's what had to be taken care of. Sauquoit's gonna get 1.9% more in foundation aid. There was just a shift in how we do things there."
The good news is, the inital numbers are usually a jumping-off point for negotiations.
"Absolutely, and they know that. But the concern is, he's professing that he has done something good. And that's why I think there's such fear right now. That, wait a minute, if you think you did something good and this is a real problem, where do we go from here, but we will address it and we've always continued to change if from what he initially proposes," said Senator Joseph Griffo.