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The Times
  • Tenney addresses Friends of the District Merger

  • State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney addressed members of the Friends of the District Merger during a meeting at the St. Francis de Sales Hall in the village of Herkimer on Tuesday.

    The purpose of the session was to discuss state aid for local school districts.

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  • State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney addressed members of the Friends of the District Merger during a meeting at the St. Francis de Sales Hall in the village of Herkimer on Tuesday.
    The purpose of the session was to discuss state aid for local school districts.
    Tenney, R,C,I - New Hartford, said during the meeting the school districts she currently represents do not get their “fair share” of state aid. Tenney said she voted against the state budget because of its impact on school districts, which included layoffs for many people in her district.
    “I couldn’t vote for that,” she said.
    Tenney blamed “jerry rigging” as part of the problem. “My objection with the state Education Department is that it’s politics. We’re not getting the aid we’re supposed to be getting,” she said.
    School districts in the Mohawk Valley rely heavily on state aid for their annual budgets. Over the past few years, school districts have continually seen that amount decrease while having to deal with increasing costs in health insurance and retirement contributions, as well as other unfunded mandates. Tenney noted school districts are dealing with several new unfunded mandates this year, including the annual professional performance review policies districts had to put into place.
    This, she said, is compared to downstate school districts — such as in Westchester and Nassau counties — that have a higher tax base.
    “When we go through the state aid formula, it’s not the formula that’s the problem, it’s that the formula is not allowed to run,” said Tenney.
    Though Tenney doesn’t currently represent Herkimer County in the 115th Assembly District, she could represent its southern half if re-elected in November in the newly formed 101st District.
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