Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi are questioning a decision to exclude Utica City School District officials from a meeting on Monday with educational and fiscal experts from the Governor's Office.

The lawmakers say the exclusion of a delegation from the Utica School District to a meeting they regularly attend with representatives from the Big Five School Districts appears related to the Maisto versus the State of New York Case.

Parents from Utica and seven other school districts are suing the state over school funding issues.

Griffo and Brindisi are asking the Governor's office to schedule a meeting for Utica School District representatives with its fiscal and educational staff.

"It is simply not a valid excuse to exclude Utica School District representatives from meetings with Executive Branch fiscal and educational experts because of pending litigation.  The school district is not suing the state; individual parents are.  It is wrong to use the students of the Utica City School District as pawns in a political game.  They are entitled under the law to a fair and equitable education and to have their concerns listened to by their Governor, along with every other student in New York State,” Brindisi said.

“Our hope is that despite the litigation that is being pursued by district parents in the Maisto case that there be no differential treatment when a recognized, responsible entity asks to meet on relevant issues affecting the education of children,” Griffo said.