To the Editor:
Once we are past the immediate COVID-19 outbreak and can safely begin to resume normal activity, we will be faced with the challenge of recovering economically. School and municipal budgets are taking a big hit.
I have served on the Oneonta City School Board for six years, and I have worked first-hand in building responsible budgets and academic goals that serve student needs. This year, and next year, will be even more challenging with the budget decisions from Albany creating large gaps in resources.
Every year, health and pension costs rise, but without matching support from Albany, increased pressure is placed on local funding.
This is unsustainable, and we need to go after system-wide solutions to fix the inequities and ensure that all students in upstate communities have the support and opportunities they need to succeed. The funding shortfalls due to the pandemic shutdowns have exposed the weaknesses in the balance between local and state funding for our schools. In my time on the school board we have been able to build budgets that have expanded programming and stayed within the tax cap.
This year, the state budget includes no increases, and they can take back money throughout the remainder of the year. In order for our schools to meet the needs of our students we must have the full support of our state government too. I realize that the pandemic has created revenue shortages in the state budget, but pulling back resources from our schools mortgages our future and is the wrong solution to this problem.
I am running for the 121st Assembly District seat to work for our future, our schools, and for a fair deal from Albany. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see more of my ideas for a fair deal for Central New York.
Thank you, Dan Buttermann, candidate for Assembly