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Peekskill School Officials: No Surprises in Governor's Budget Proposal

Peekskill schools will receive roughly $1.4 million in additional state aid in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal.

Even with the state aid increase promised in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal, Peekskill School officials say they will still need to look for more creative ways to find revenue and cut costs.

Peekskill school would a state aid increase of just under $1.4 million, or $865,191 if building aid is taken out of the equation, according to school aid runs released by Cuomo's office. That amounts to a 4.7 percent increase overall and a 3.3 percent increase if building aid figures are left out.

Cuomo's budget proposal calls for a 3 percent increase in state aid. There are also competive grants of $25 million to fund full-day pre-kindergarten in high need school districts, $20 million for schools who want to to extend their school day, $15 million to fund community schools and $11 million for a master teachers program.

Peekskill schools Superintendent Jim Willis said the state aid figures are in line with what the district is expecting. But he isn't sure how some of the other education initiatives that were mentioned in the proposal will help the school district.

Extending the school day, for instance, would take a lot of work and planning.

"There are contractual issues that come into play," Willis said. "If you add more days to the year, then you add more salary. You'll never get the unions to agree to a longer school day until you pay for it."

Willis also said there is still debate on the effectiveness of extended school days in the American school system.

Willis said some of the other initiatives like, funding for full-day pre-kindergarten, could help the district. The district currently pays $1.1 million for its pre-kindergarten program, with $400,000 of that coming from federal grants.

"We'd be more than happy to take it," Willis said.

joshua tanner January 30, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Not long ago kids were smarter with less schooling. Now as kids fall behind the system blames the kids as if they were being born dumber. "We need more time" is an excuse and Pre K is a scam as John Stossel showed Universal Pre-K: 'This Whole Thing Is a Scam' http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=7070646&page=1
Emilia January 30, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Kids might have been "smarter with less schooling" as you say, but this is not the fault of the schools. The dumbing down of society is due to the lack of discipline in the home, the inundation of video games, hours of mindless TV, and many other things that take children away from reading and doing homework.
joshua tanner January 30, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Yes the parents are part of the problem in a place like Peekskill. However many kids are taught garbage. Education depts are the ghettos of university departments and anyone who can fog a mirror can get a MA as long as they pay the bill. Kids are taught to hate the country and given Marxist tainted history. Methods for teaching math and reading are broken. Teaching used to attract the smartest women. Now many want to be marketers and investment bankers etc. The quality of teachers and administrators has gone way down over the years.

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