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.