BUFFALO, N.Y. — In front of teachers and students at the Hamlin Park School in Buffalo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, talked up the importance of after-school programs.

The state is contributing more than $2.5 million so four high-need districts, including Buffalo, can add a total of more than 1600 additional slots. The funding is part of a $35 million pool approved last session for programs across the state.

"We said to districts all across the state, ‘you tell us the best ideas you have for after-school programs,’ and Buffalo came up with some great ideas," Cuomo said.

Community partners like Say Yes to Education are applauding the investment.

"The extended learning time opportunities funded by Buffalo Public Schools will allow more students to access our scholarship down the road," Say Yes Buffalo Executive Director David Rust said.

But the Buffalo Teachers Federation said if the state truly wants to help students, it should reimburse the district underfunded Foundation Aid and money lost due to the Gap Elimination adjustment. Over the last decade, the union says that sum totals more than $1.1 billion.

Cuomo said New York invests more money per student than any other state in the country. His office is estimating a more than $4.1 billion shortfall for the upcoming budget though.