Bill could lead to building of 3 new Yonkers schools

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YONKERS -

State lawmakers have less than three days to approve a bill that would help Yonkers Public Schools build three new schools.

Mayor Mike Spano says the Yonkers school district is in critical need of new schools, but he says going to the taxpayers for money isn't an option.

Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer introduced a bill that would help pay for three new schools in Yonkers: one new high school and two new schools for grades K through eight. The project is estimated to cost more than $530 million.

"Currently under state law the state pays a portion of the cost of new schools and the city has to pick up the balance," Mayer says. "This would reduce the cities share by speeding up the states investment in the new schools."

But time is not on her side, as the state's legislative session is scheduled to end Wednesday. Spano thinks there is still time for legislators to approve the bill -- and there is precedence in cases like this.

"New York has done that for Rochester and Syracuse," Spano says. "We agree with the fact that they've done it for them. But we also think that it is our turn."

Spano says this issue is so important he is considering taking another trip to Albany this week to pressure lawmakers to pass the bill this legislative session.

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