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Guv's Proposed Budget Reduces Aid to West Hempstead, East Rockaway Schools

Plan increases aid to Malverne and Lynbrook, but lowers funds for West Hempstead and East Rockaway.

The $142.6 billion proposed budget that Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled earlier this week increases total education spending by $889 million, but would reduce state aid to the West Hempstead School District by more than $300,000.

The 4.4 percent year-to-year increase in education aid proposed in Cuomo's budget would benefit some local school districts. Lynbrook, for instance, is slated to get a modest 2.5 percent ($181,806) bump in aid, bringing its total to $7,426,738 including building aid. However, the West Hempstead School District would receive 3.9 percent less than last year.

The governor’s proposal reduces state aid for the West Hempstead School District by $311,288, according to Deputy Superintendent of Schools Richard Cunningham. For 2012-2013, the district received $7,756,175 in state aid, but if the state legislature signs off on Cuomo's plan, West Hempstead would get only $7,451,726 for 2013-2014.

"The significant decrease is in High Tax Aid, where the Governor proposes a decrease of $364,141 ... to West Hempstead," Cunningham told Patch Thursday. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive budget calls for cutting "high tax aid" by close to a third. Across the entire state budget, the amount allocated for high tax aid is being cut $50 million, bringing the total down to $154.7 million, reports Southhampton Patch. A greater portion of the aid will be directed to school districts with lower wealth and high property taxes.

According to the Briefing Book released by the state, "By redirecting High Tax Aid and increasing the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) restoration, the Executive Budget promotes a more equitable distribution of aid to school districts."

The Malverne School District's state aid would be reduced by 0.3 percent ($21,626) under Cuomo's proposed budget, but when building aid is factored in, the total state aid package for the district actually rises by 6.9 percent, or $555,724, to $8,564,938.

However, state aid, including building aid, for the East Rockaway School District for 2013-2014 would be $5,522,225 -- 4.4 percent ($253,940) less than the previous fiscal year.

These figures do not include other education aid that will also be distributed to school districts across the state for the 2013-14 school year including $203 million in Fiscal Stabilization Funding, $75 million in State of the State Initiatives including Full-Day Pre-kindergarten and Extended Learning grants, and $50 million in performance and management efficiency grants that will be distributed through a competitive process. Funding that has not yet been distributed to specific school districts represents 37 percent of the overall year-to-year increase in Education Aid.

Gina Genti January 24, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Great report Tara. Thank you.
BigIdeas January 24, 2013 at 09:00 PM
It would be much clearer if the aid was broken down by student. $#,### per pupil. Then we could see if East Rockaway and West Hempstead have a real gripe about their aid being reduced while other districts are increased.
Clioscribe January 25, 2013 at 09:18 PM
The convoluted formula's used by the state should be tossed out and they should start from scratch!
Tom Garrett January 25, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Ohhhh "convoluted formula" is quite an understatement.......... See for yourself: https://stateaid.nysed.gov/publications/handbooks/handbook_2011.pdf
S.M. January 26, 2013 at 11:35 AM
This state is a joke.

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