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State Sen., superintendent react to Gov. Hochul vetoing transportation funding for Oneonta district

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ONEONTA (WBNG) -- Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill last Friday that would have given the Oneonta City School District transportation funding it missed out on last year.

State Senator Peter Oberacker continues to criticize the Governor over her decision to veto the legislation.

"In this case there is no doubt that this is not helping, that this isn't assisting, this isn't helping to educate the children in the Oneonta School District," Oberacker said.

The bill would correct a clerical error and help the school district in preserving $400,000 in state transportation aid. State Sen. Oberacker supports the bill along with The New York State Schools Board, and The New York State United Teachers.

"Oneonta is on top of its game all the time and to have it go through this process, there has to be a better way to allow these monies to flow," Oberacker said.

Superintendent Thomas Brindley says this issue goes back to when the school district was trying to change bus companies before the 2019-20 school year.

"There was no malicious intent here, this is not people being asleep at the switch," Brindley said. "These are people who were really trying to better the service that we provide for our students here in this district."

The legislation would also correct an oversight in the application process when the school district did not return its application in a timely fashion.

"Those monies have already been allocated on paper budgetarily to school districts," Brindley said. "In a situation like this, how can you view it as anything other than a real punishment for something in many regards that was mildly outside of our own control."

Oberacker says he wants to see changes by the state when it comes to evaluating these types of cases.

"The part that I'm disappointed on is for the taxpayers and are we really there for the kids and for the education to put a school district coming out of covid through this added stress both financial and otherwise," Oberacker said.

Jack Cooper

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