On the heels of deep budget cuts for local education aid, 101 school districts around the state are asking Comptroller Tom DiNapoli permission to dip into their Employee Benefits Accrued Liability Reserve funds in order to offset.

“School districts are unable to use EBALR funds until my office certified the surplus amount,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “We moved quickly to help those districts that plan to use these funds to save jobs and maintain educational programs.”

The districts have a total of $147.8 million in their EBALR funds.

The fund is money set aside for accrued vacation and sick time that goes unused.

The districts are taking the advice of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was able to cut $1.2 billion in education aid for school districts in order to close a $10 billion. The governor wanted school districts to cut overhead, pay for administrators and dip into reserve accounts.

DiNapoli said that despite using the reserves, districts are still in a difficult situation.

“Even with the use of these funds, school districts still have painful choices. And using up reserves now could put school districts in a precarious position next year. School districts without enough excess EBALR funds must now rely on their undesignated fund balances, tax increases or budget cuts to fill the hole left by state aid cuts. I have directed my auditors to continue to help school districts get their finances in order and to look for cost savings to help district officials deal with these difficult times.”