Governor Cuomo has announced that several impoverished school districts are eligible for $35 million in funding to partner with non-profit agencies to expand after-school activities.

The announcement came Tuesday in response to Cuomo's State of the State initiative to increase enrollment if after-school activities by 36 percent this year. These grants have been made available to school districts in the state that have a poverty rate of 30 percent in 2015.

Governor Cuomo said in a statement,

This investment in our youngest New Yorkers is an investment in the very future of this state. With this funding, we will further level the playing field for children in underserved cities across New York by expanding their access to programs and community resources that will help them get ahead and help create a stronger, fairer Empire State for all.

According to the Governor's website, eligible schools must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located in municipalities designated under the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative;
  • Be located in a county that had a child poverty rate of over 30 percent in 2015;
  • Have a district child poverty rate of over 30 percent in 2015; or
  • Had between 5,000 and 20,000 students living in poverty within the school district in 2015.

If selected, school districts would receive five-year grants of $1,600 per student. In the Mohawk Valley there are several districts eligible including Gloversville, Laurens, Oneonta, Sharon Springs and of course Utica City Schools. High quality after-school programs have been shown to yield a $3 return on an investment of every dollar spent.