Assemblywoman Buttenschon Secures Critical Funding For Mohawk Valley Schools and Students

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) announced at a press conference on Tuesday, June 25, that she helped secure $430,000 in additional funding for Mohawk Valley schools at the end of the 2019 legislative session. This much-needed funding comes as Rome City School District is set to eliminate 30 teaching positions in order to balance its budget.[1] Buttenschon worked especially hard to secure more funding to offset these cuts and protect vital programs that promote student success. Buttenschon was joined by Superintendents from Rome City School District, Whitesboro Central School District, and Oriskany Central School District, as well as the Executive Director from Mid York Library System.

“When school districts are forced to make gut-wrenching decisions to close budget gaps, our kids are the ones who suffer,” Buttenschon said. “Shortchanging students should never be the answer, which is why I fought hard to secure this funding. I’ll always work to ensure that Mohawk Valley students have the tools they need to succeed and educators have the support to teach and lead.”

Buttenschon secured $325,000 for the Rome City School District, $25,000 for the Whitesboro Central School District and $10,000 each for the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District and the Oriskany Central School District. This is the first time Oriskany schools have received additional education funding, Buttenschon noted. In addition, she secured $50,000 for the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and $10,000 for the Mid York Library System.

“We are very fortunate to have Assemblywoman Buttenschon representing our region as she has fought long and hard for our community to receive more fair and equitable funding,” said Superintendent Peter Blake of the Rome City School District. “Our hope is to be able to restore a couple of teaching positions, and re-establishing some lost community partnerships.”

“We are extremely grateful to Assemblywoman Buttenschon for her hard work and understanding of what schools need today,” said Superintendent Brian Bellair of the Whitesboro Central School District. “The additional funds will be used for school safety initiatives aimed at creating an even safer environment for our school community.”

“We’re very grateful and excited to receive this funding in support of our literacy initiatives,” said Wanda Burchis, Executive Director of the Mid York Library System. “Public libraries help children to develop strong reading skills and promote a lifelong love of reading and look forward to furthering our mission to enhance and improve library services to the communities we collectively serve.”

“We appreciate Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s efforts and providing this opportunity for us. Resources today can be difficult to obtain for smaller, rural schools, and this additional funding is vital for our programing and students,” said Superintendent Timothy Gaffney of the Oriskany Central School District. “The money will provide many opportunities for our students with the after school programming initiative we are currently designing.”

“I’d like to thank Assemblywoman Buttenschon for securing this additional funding for Rome, Whitesboro, Frankfort-Schuyler, Oriskany, the Mid-York Library System and Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES,” said Jacklin Starks, District Superintendent of Madison-Oneida BOCES and Interim District Superintendent of Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES This was a difficult budget year and many schools made some very difficult financial decisions. I appreciate her commitment to education in the Mohawk Valley and her work in helping to offset some of the budget cuts that directly affect student programming,” Starks was unable to attend the press conference.

“We thank Assemblywoman Buttenschon for her continued interest and support,” said Superintendent Robert Reina of the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District. “The additional funding will enhance our school safety programs and equipment for our students.” Reina was also unable to attend the press conference.