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Local school districts struggling with finances

WBFO News file photo

A new report card from the State Comptroller's Office lists three local school districts on shaky financial ground. The fallout could mean more layoffs in one of the region's top districts. 


The comptroller's office evaluated 672 districts across the state. Ten are listed under "significant fiscal stress" including Niagara-Wheatfield, West Seneca Central and Lewiston-Porter.

Superintendent Christopher Roser says Lew-Port is "hanging on by its fingernails." Lew-Port, Roser says, went from $3 million in reserves in 2010 to about $400,000 today.    

"Only reason we're fiscally stressed, and any school's fiscally stressed in New York state, is because of Gap Elimination Adjustment. The GEA came in and took $2.4 million of revenue in just one fell swoop, without any warning," Roser said.

"We said we do not want our kids to get a secondary education. We want to maintain the programs that make Lewiston-Porter absolutely one of the best schools in Western New York."

But now Roser says the only way Lew-Port can avoid layoffs and cutting programs is for Albany to restore school funding.