Bullet aid generates acrimony

Additional school aid of nearly $10 million that was approved Tuesday by the state Senate’s Republican majority included one Oneida County school district, Sauquoit Valley, which received $175,000.

Among other area school districts, South Lewis will receive $50,000, said Rayan Aguam, spokesman for Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, whose district includes most of Oneida County. The funding is referred to as "bullet aid," said the Associated Press.

The additional aid had been agreed upon last year but was not able to be forwarded until now based on certain legislative approvals needed, explained Aguam. Within Griffo’s 47th Senate District that also includes all of Lewis County and part of St. Lawrence County, there had to be "hard decisions" on a limited number of schools to receive the funding based on financial needs, Aguam added. He noted some other school districts in Oneida County "have already received bullet aid from last year."

Griffo presided over Tuesday’s Senate session regarding the school aid, including "slamming of the massive gavel" during a debate between Republicans and Democrats, said the AP. The only school districts to get the additional aid were represented by Republican senators, the AP said.