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Lawmakers discuss how $31B for schools in state budget will be used

One of the big additions will be the creation of more universal pre-kindergarten programs, opening up 1,300 new spots in Western New York alone.

HAMBURG, N.Y. — Several state lawmakers got together Friday at Hamburg High School to highlight how $31 billion for New York schools in the state budget will be used.

That budget will give a 7 percent increase in funding for districts in Western New York for the upcoming school year that starts in the fall.

One of the big additions will be the creation of more universal pre-kindergarten programs, opening up 1,300 new spots in Western New York alone.

"We all know that pre-K lays the foundation for a lifelong learner," State Senator Sean Ryan said Friday at the event. "And studies have shown that low-income households benefit more from pre-K than advantaged households.

"That's why it's crucial that we keep taking steps to make sure that every child has access to pre-K, so when they get to kindergarten they're on equal footing."

This year's state budget provided an increase of $2.1 billion for schools compared to last year.

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