Budget agreement would provide Yonkers School District with state funds

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says the state money means the city will avoid thousands of layoffs. (3/30/14)

YONKERS - The budget agreement reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders on Saturday would provide some financial relief to the ailing Yonkers School District.

The city's school system would receive a one-time bailout of $28 million and permission to borrow up to another $45 million through bonds.

The $55 million deficit the district accrued was largely caused by an accounting error, which led to the sudden retirement of Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio in January. An auditor discovered school officials were counting on $55 million in state funding that had never been approved.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says the state money means the city will avoid thousands of layoffs. However, he says tax hikes and layoffs may be possible in the future.

The bailout comes with strings attached. The city would have to consolidate many of the school district's non-academic functions. Consolidation would provide cost savings and additional mayoral oversight, not the full mayoral control Spano was seeking.

State lawmakers are expected to approve the spending plan on Monday. The budget is due by Tuesday.    

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