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Schools Fend for Selves as State Delays Payments

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

School districts in New York are taking their own emergency budget measures now that Governor Paterson has delayed their state aid. Karen DeWitt reports.

REPORTER: Paterson withheld a $2.1 billion school aid payment at the end of March saying the state does not have the money. Dave Albert with the state's School Board Association says schools are drawing down their reserve funds, borrowing money at short-term interest rates, and freezing spending to cope. He says if the payments continue to be lagged students and parents will see the difference come September.

ALBERT: They're certainly going to be fewer teachers and fewer teachers means larger class sizes. It also means less help is available for students, whether it's during the school day or after the school day.

REPORTER: Another $2 billion school aid payment is due in June and Governor Paterson says it might be hard to meet that payment as well. His budget director says school aid payments may have to be spread out over several months.

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