Assemblywoman Buttenschon Visits Local Schools with Assembly Education Committee Chair

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) recently toured local schools alongside Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, chair of the Assembly Committee on Education.

“Children are the future of our state and nation, and it’s critical that we properly invest in local school districts to ensure they have access to a wide range of educational resources,” Buttenschon said. “My tour with Assemblyman Benedetto and meeting with local education leaders were perfect opportunities to see what’s being taught to students right now and what issues should be addressed so we can continue to provide children statewide with the tools they need to learn and grow.”

Buttenschon and Benedetto met with Utica City School District officials on Friday, Nov. 1, to discuss the needs of the district with its diverse demographic of students. While a tour of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School had been planned, inclement weather and flooding had forced the district to close all of their schools for the day. Following the meeting, Buttenschon and Benedetto visited Staley Elementary School in Rome to view the damage caused by the previous night’s storm and the reoccurring flooding that the school faces in its current location.

The Members then visited Rome Free Academy where they were given a tour and overview of the Rome City School District’s needs. . Following the tour, Buttenschon and Benedetto attended a working lunch, also hosted at Rome Free Academy with several Mohawk Valley school district superintendents and officials. The meeting focused on local and state educational issues, including the Foundation Aid formula.

During her time in the Assembly, Buttenschon has fought for increased investment in Mohawk Valley schools. Earlier this year, she helped pass a state budget that includes a $1 billion increase in education funding and a $618 million increase in Foundation Aid. Buttenschon also helped secure $430,000 in additional funding for Mohawk Valley schools.

“This was an excellent firsthand look at our children’s education and a chance to hear from the people directly involved in local schools about what the state can do better,” said Benedetto. “It’s clear that Mohawk Valley superintendents are fully committed to giving their students every opportunity to succeed. I want to thank Assemblywoman Buttenschon for accompanying me on this tour and all the school district officials who provided us with their insight.”

"The Rome City School District and the Mohawk Valley are honored to welcome Assemblyman Benedetto to our region and into our schools. Thank you to Assemblywoman Buttenschon for providing the Rome City School District the opportunity to showcase our schools to the Assemblyman,” said Peter C. Blake, Superintendent of Rome City Schools. “We appreciate the efforts of the Assembly Education Committee in providing equity to schools everywhere, especially to our partnering schools of the Mohawk Valley Region."

“The Utica City School District is honored and very pleased to host Assemblyman Benedetto, Chairman of the New York State Assembly’s Education Committee and our local Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon,” said Bruce J. Karam, Superintendent of Utica City Schools. “We greatly appreciate them taking time out of their busy schedule to give us an opportunity to showcase our wonderful school district and to discuss many of the educational issues and needs that are very important to all of us.” Karam was unable to attend the event, but sent a representative from Utica City Schools in his place.