Uncertain picture for state school aid

By Matt Hicks

Uncertain picture for state school aid

March 22, 2013 Updated Mar 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Despite New York State leaders announcing a $135 billion budget agreement Wednesday, one state lawmaker said there is still plenty to be debated when they come together to vote on the budget bills this weekend.

One key question, according to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-123rd), is what the funding picture will look like for schools across the Southern Tier.

She's been working for years on changing the state aid formula, which she said doesn't truly represent the need among the school districts she represents.

"The formula has not been fixed in a number of years and I think districts like mine are not receiving the level of aid they deserve," Lupardo said.

In response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent comment that schools facing budget troubles should merge, Lupardo said she's open to creating a dialogue to find the best way to move forward with a plan for consolidation.

She also calls on taxpayers to let their school boards know if they want the districts to merge.

The state hopes to pass the budget before the April 1 deadline, making it the third straight on-time budget.