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It’s not new information that New York State is struggling financially. It faces an uphill battle in balancing the budget and is dealing with a decreasing tax base in many upstate municipalities.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has offered assistance to school districts to fight at least part of the problem: rising pension costs.

When asked if the Batavia City School District is considering applying for the state’s pension smoothing program -- where districts facing soaring pension costs can defer to down the road -- Superintendent Chris Dailey’s answer is simple: No.

“We as a board and a district don’t want to take out a loan on the future, gambling basically on the retirement rates," Dailey said. "We will deal with it on a year-to-year basis with sound fiscal planning. It’s not attractive to our district at this time.”

Districts that sign on can contribute to employees’ pensions with a flat rate for seven years, but then have five years to pay off the difference with interest.

Dailey says in order to sign on to the program, districts have to think the economy will stay bad in order to essentially mortgage.

Rochester and Yonkers schools have recently agreed to participate.

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