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Sound Off: Is The State Doing Enough to Fund Local Schools?

Proposed state aid figures draw mixed reactions from local superintendents; is the state doing its part to fund our schools?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that total state aid to local school districts would increase by 4 percent next year under his executive budget proposal. 

That hike restores some state aid to districts, many of which have seen double digit percent drops in state aid over the past few years.

The news drew mixed reactions from local superintendents. Sayville Superintendent Walter Schartner the restored aid would help keep the district in line with the state's new 2 percent tax cap. 

In West Islip, though, Superintendent Rick Simon did not his displeasure over the aid figures for his district.

"I was disappointed," he said. "I’m disappointed in that the governor's budget is supposed to provide districts with four percent increase in aid. Our increase was 1.57 percent. And even some of that is what we call aid that is not guaranteed, only a part of that is guaranteed."

Both Schartner and Simon expressed continuing concern over state mandates, and the costs associated with them. 

We want to hear from you. Is the state doing its part to help local schools? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section.

Chris Barcelo January 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Joseph LoSchiavo January 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Thanks you for this question. NO. The state and Fed share to our (and most) districts is underfunded. Just one case in point: Individuals with Disabilityin Education act. When first enacted the Feds said they would fund thier share of 40%.To date were have never seen more thanks 20%. Sed is not better with the unfunded mandates . I could got one and one, but suffice to say SED and The Dept of Education need to been dismantled. Local control . Simply put [from Gov. J. Huntsman) local control is the only solution because the local communiy has a vested interest and do not want thier instititions to fail. Thanx for the opportunity to state my opinion.
L January 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM
You said it James. Why are our tax dollars leaving Long Island, while our schools struggle or close?
clearvision January 24, 2012 at 07:10 PM
The state needs to get rid of all of the unfunded mandates, repeal the ridiculous Triborough amendment (which makes it difficult for districts to control labor costs), and return a larger percentage of long island tax dollars to our districts!
Laura Valente January 31, 2012 at 02:51 PM
The method of funding public school systems in NY state is a recipe for disaster when considered within the context of unionized labor and the Triborough Amendment. Tax revenues can decrease, as can state aid, yet long-term contractual obligations and state-mandated pension systems keep costs high regardless of economic environment. Being forced to maintain salaries and benefits even after contracts expire (due to the Triborough) makes it extraordinarily tough to respond to fluctuating revenue levels in individual districts. We need to have contract, benefit and pension reform immediately to stop this fiscal insanity.


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