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Sachem's State Aid Cut by $16 Million

Gov. Cuomo's numbers are in and Long Island will be hit hard.

As expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his budget info this week and the Sachem Central School District will have a proposed $16.2 million cut in state aid for the 2011-12 school year.

The figure is the highest of any school district on Long Island and it's a 16.88 percent decrease in state aid compared to the 2010-11 school year.

"This cut in aid will certainly be the largest hurdle we have faced," said Sachem Superintendent Jim Nolan, "but I am sure that together the Sachem family will do what is best for our students and community members."

“It’s a big number,” added Rob Scavo, the president of Sachem’s Board of Education. “When you have a $16 million reduction, you don’t have many options. It’s a lot less money then we anticipated. We have a big job ahead of us, there is no question.”

Sachem is set to host a legislative committee forum Thursday evening at Samoset Middle School, where many local politicians will address the crowd. The hot topic is sure to be the school state aid numbers.

"Our elected officials who hold positions in Suffolk, Albany and D.C. work tirelessly to represent the needs of our community," Nolan said. "We look forward to meeting with these folks to share our concerns and maintain a mutually respectful relationship."

In total, Long Island will lose nearly $250 million in school aid. The next biggest cut after Sachem is Brentwood with a loss of $11 million, and then Middle Country with $10.6 million.

"For the past four years, I've said the state needs a budget that aligns recurring revenues with recurring spending," said state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in a statement. "At first glance, it appears the Governor has proposed a budget that does just that. There are two main concerns: achieving budget balance while continuing to provide essential services that millions of New Yorkers rely on. My office will be analyzing the specifics of the budget proposal to determine its impact on local governments, school districts and other service providers that depend on state funding."

Overall, Cuomo is proposing to cut about 7.3 percent school aid state wide compared to last year.

"This is the real budget battle that I will wage this year," Cuomo wrote in an editorial that appeared in the New York Post Tuesday. "We must balance this year's budget but we must also reform the process so that the cycle finally stops. This year's budget is not merely about the numbers. It's about our values and our future."

Next up is to see if the New York State Assembly will approve the 2 percent tax cap.

BOE Meeting Cancelled: Since school was closed today, the Sachem Central School District Board of Education meeting was rescheduled to next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in its usual location - the administrative annex at Samoset Middle School.

Bevin Llanes February 02, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Not good. What are we to do? We can't raise taxes in these economic times either. The children are the ones who will suffer.
Joe F February 02, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Cut the salaries of the superintendents, thats a start.
Dennis February 02, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Stop the waste in spending; overtime, pension abuses and sports come first attitude. Parents have to assist in the education of their children at home.
Joe F February 03, 2011 at 04:00 PM
I feel sports are important for the kids, to keep them off the streets and give them something to do. As far as cutting spending....absolutely cut salaries. Teachers get paid during the summer even if they are not teaching, why? Teachers also do not teach a full 8 hours, like most people work everyday, why? Teachers do not even teach for 6 hours....start with the teachers and then work on the higher ups.
Cindy Herrick February 03, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Joe Ferrara, I am a teacher in the Middle Country School District. I invite you to come spend a day or 2 with me during my teaching day and then I think you will be better able to make a more educated comment about how hard teachers work.
Sharon A. February 05, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Joe, I do suggest maybe you spend a day and night in a teachers shoes. Their work doesn't end at 3p either ...They attend a lot of night events, plan programs, make papers etc..their off time isn't always their own. As for sports I do feel it should be cut before education. Some of us actually pay for after school activities to keep our kids off the streets, I don't expect the taxpayers to babysit my kids.
education February 28, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Education is important! Teachers are important!!! I wouldn't eat - I would cut on my food, but would pay the taxes. Maybe I would lose some weight as well. My kid has an excellent teacher, young teacher. I don't want this person to go to work every day thinking of how she/he might lose a job!!! And I don't think I have any more money as anybody here.

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