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Sen. Griffo wants $240 million distributed to high needs districts

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State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, is advocating for the redistribution of $240 million in school aid to high-need districts.

As a result of their failure to file the required teacher evaluation plan by the Jan. 17 deadline, six downstate school districts forfeited their access to an increase in state aid for the 2012-13 school year.

“As a result of those schools that did not file, there’s $240 million I think should be redirected into education aid targeted for low-wealth, high-needs districts,” Mr. Griffo said.

He said he has picked up some support for the idea. State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said she will wait to learn more details, but is open to the idea.

Assemblyman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, said he supports Mr. Griffo’s proposal.

But Mr. Griffo said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo may be calculating the $240 million as a source of savings for the state.

“The governor may be using this in the budget as a savings,” Mr. Griffo said.

Richard Azzopardi, spokesman for the governor, said the money wasn’t in the budget, but declined to comment on Mr. Griffo’s proposal.

The governor’s office “can work with us now if they really care about school districts,” Mr. Griffo said.

“This is now in the hands of the Legislature,” he said.

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