Monday, December 14, 2009

Governor Paterson Delays School Aid for NY State

Since many believe that it doesn't matter to Governor David Paterson what human toll assertive acts on preserving the budget takes on his political career, he today made good on a threat to impound or delay US$750 million in scheduled payments set to go to state agencies and school districts.

New York state is suffering from a budget crisis created in part by the global financial crisis that seems to be easing. the other reason is, well, it's New York state.

The cuts in school payments drew the strongest resistance. Though Mr. Paterson said that most school districts had reserve funds that would allow them to absorb the reductions, he acknowledged that poorer school districts were “going to be a problem.”

But Stephen Allinger, legislative director of the New York State United Teachers union, said many districts had already used up their reserves for the year. Mr. Paterson’s reductions could affect after-school and sports programs, and result in staff reductions, Mr. Allinger said.

And he asked a question about the cuts that seemed to be on many people’s minds: “What does this mean? Is it just late, or are they going to cut it altogether?”

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