How will our local schools be helped by casino revenues

In an AP story by Michael Hill, “Jackpot elusive for three new upstate casinos,” which The Leader-Herald carried, deep in the story came a shocking revelation.

“The casino slots and table games have raised $88.8 million. Eighty percent of the money goes to public schools, which have set levels of aid unaffected by casino revenue fluctuations. The rest goes to county and municipal governments.”

While Fulton reaps little from the Schenectady casino, the most glaring admission was the 80 percent guaranteed to school districts. Meanwhile, local entities, like the town of Johnstown, the city of Johnstown, and even the county itself have had to raise taxes considerably. Gloversville is on the hook for $2 million to repair its sewer lines.

Schools receive 60 percent of their budgets from the state, garner huge building grants and are themselves tax gathering authorities. Meanwhile, cities deteriorate and face staff reductions.

You wonder why school districts maintain their hold on the state legislature. Maybe their lobbyists just hand out more contributions to election campaigns than beleaguered cities and towns, thus making the benefited legislators advocates for the schools when matters come to vote.