- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Senate has voted to end a policy that allowed the state to withhold a portion of school funding from local districts to prop up the state’s overall budget.

The practice dates back to the recession, when the state faced billion-dollar budget deficits.

In recent years lawmakers have gradually reduced the amount withheld from local districts, and now the policy primarily affects rural and suburban districts more than high-need urban districts.

The measure to totally eliminate the practice passed Monday and now goes to the Assembly.

Members of the Senate’s Republican majority say the policy is unfair and are making its elimination a priority in 2016.

Some Democrats argued the debate should be part of a larger discussion about school funding, to ensure poorer districts get help too.

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