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Sen. May: School Funding and Housing Behind Budget Hold Up


What’s holding up the state budget?

Speaking on FLX Morning, State Senator Rachel May said housing and school funding negotiations are behind the delay.

“We’re fighting really hard to make sure that our school districts don’t get cuts; I’d say that’s the biggest thing, but we also need to do something about housing in this state, making sure people have places to live that they can afford, and so that one, I think, is holding a lot of things up,” said May.

The Governor has proposed a $233 billion budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year.

Senator May had previously expressed her concern over school funding on FLX Morning. Back in February, she said that changes proposed by the governor to how aid funding is allocated would see districts with declining populations lose funding.

“A lot of them are getting cuts because the populations of students have gone down which is definitely part of the formula, but if you lose some students, you can’t just close a school or lay off teachers,” said May. “You still have to have classes; you still have to teach every grade.”

For example, according to a letter by Union Springs School Central School District Superintendent Jarett Powers, the district would lose over $1 million in aid under the proposed changes.

Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck also expressed his concern over cuts to school aid during what he called a growing mental health crisis.

“Our schools desperately need this funding to address our children’s educational needs as well as a growing mental health crisis that will undoubtedly present additional challenges for us moving forward,” Schenck stated. “Funding should be directed back to our school districts as well as to our community to address a growing crisis with homelessness and other local public safety needs.”

The budget was originally due on Monday; however, the governor and legislature agreed to extend the deadline until Thursday. May expects the budget to be finalized next week.

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