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Sachem Getting Back $6.4M in Proposed State Aid

Governor releases preliminary budget figures.

The Sachem Central School District will receive a higher total in school aid this year, according to proposed information released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Sachem, which was cut $14 million in state aid for the 2011-12 school year, will gain back $6.4 million for the 2012-13 school year. There is a $4.3 million increase in overall estimated foundation aid and an additional $2.2 million increase in building/transportation aid, according to Sachem Assistant Superintendent for Business Bruce Singer

These are just proposed figures and the final state aid figures remain subject to change as the governor and legislature dissect the budget over the next few months.

“It was certainly nice to see a restoration of some of the aid, but it’s still no where near what we lost,” said Sachem Superintendent Nolan.

According to district officials, Sachem will still have roughly a $10-15 million shortfall for the 2012-13 budget because of low aid totals and increased district expenditures. Sachem will have an estimated $287 million budget for 2012-13. The district will receive $82.2 million in overall estimated aid during the 2012-13 school year.

Overall, the state budget will inject $805 million in school aid back into the system. The governor’s office said high need school districts will receive 76 percent of the 2012-13 allocated increase and 69 percent of total school aid. Long Island school districts are receiving a $56.3 million increase in operating funds.

"Because of the tough choices and the historic reforms we achieved last year, we are able to propose a pro-growth budget, tackle broad fiscal reform, drive accountability in our schools to put students first, and leverage tens of billions of dollars of new investment to create jobs without significant cost to the taxpayer," Cuomo said in a statement. "Through fiscal discipline and working in partnership with the private sector, we are making New York a pro-growth State once again. This budget represents the next step in our plan to transform New York State."

The governor also announced that the State Education Department and school employee unions will have 30 days to agree on a new effective teacher evaluation system or the he will propose an evaluation system in the 30 day budget amendments. Schools will be given one year to implement the system or risk forfeiting an increase in education aid in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school budgets, according to Cuomo.

“Currently each local district has their own evaluation tool for employees,” Nolan said. “They want to go to a state evaluation tool, where a percentage of evaluations taken are on how students perform on assessments.”

The proposed state budget closes the current $2 billion budget deficit with no new taxes or new fees and lays the groundwork for an innovative $25 billion economic development agenda, funded largely by leveraging billions in private sector investment rather than by taxpayer dollars, according to Cuomo.

Other highlights of the Governor's proposed plan include:

  • Closing the current budget gap with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks, and including zero growth in State agency spending;
  • Eliminating automatic spending inflators and implementing reforms throughout the budget to ensure that spending increases for service providers reflect performance and actual cost;
  • Allocating $1.3 billion in State investment designed to spur a total of $25 billion from other sources to launch and accelerate major infrastructure projects and create thousands of jobs;
  • Creating a plan for the State to take over 100% of the costs of Medicaid growth that will be phased in over three years, saving local governments $1.2 billion over the next five years;
  • Creating a pension reform plan that will save State taxpayers and local governments outside New York City $83 billion, and will save New York City $30 billion over the next 30 years; and
  • Increasing school aid by $805 million, including $250 million linked to improved academic performance and management efficiency, and implementation of an enhanced teacher evaluation process.

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