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Local reaction to Gov. Hochul's budget proposal

The President of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association is pleased with the Governor's budget proposal for 2024.

HAMBURG, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul revealed details about her 2024 New York State budget proposal Wednesday afternoon, and it includes more than $34 billion in school aid.

2 On Your Side talked with Superintendent Michael Cornell on Wednesday afternoon after the governor spoke in Albany, and he is pleased with what she is proposing for education funding.

Cornell is the superintendent of Hamburg Central Schools and the president of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association.

Some of the highlights in the governor's proposal include setting aside money to focus on tutoring students in third through eighth grade with learning loss from the pandemic, and more funding for full-day Kindergarten.

Cornell is also happy about the $24 billion in foundation aid, which is a $2.7 billion increase from last year, and funding to help districts in Western New York pay for big projects.

"The governor promised a year ago to fully fund foundation aid and she did, and she deserves enormous credit for that. And the other thing that she did that sometimes flies under the radar, is she secured the status of reimbursable aid categories like building aid and transportation aid," Cornell said.

"That's money that we get back based on what we actually spend, and without that reimbursable aid coming to us every single year, we would never be able to plan appropriately for capital projects or modernizing our bus fleets, so we would never really be able to improve, what in most communities is the most valuable real estate in a community, which is that community's schools and green spaces.:

Cornell says it is also important to note this is the opener of the conversation about the budget. The New York State legislature now has 60 days to have its say.


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