By Christine Sampson
Governor Andrew Cuomo last week released an executive budget that pledged an additional $961 million to fund education in New York State, but for some East End schools that budget may actually yield less state aid next year than they received this year – including the Sag Harbor School District.
While the average increase per district in school state aid is projected to be 4.1 percent, Sag Harbor’s New York State funding is actually slated to decrease by 1.9 percent, or to about $1.82 million in funding overall. However, Jennifer Buscemi, Sag Harbor’s school business administrator, said in an email she does not expect the drop to hit the bottom line hard.
“It is a very small percentage compared to our overall revenue projections,” she said. “This is also not the final state aid run, so the numbers are not set in stone. The next state aid run usually includes an increase over the original governor’s proposal.”
Meanwhile, the governor’s budget is projecting a state aid increase of 3.38 percent for the Bridgehampton School District, bringing the district’s overall funding up to $733,355.
The Amagansett School is also set to receive less state aid next year. Like Bridgehampton, the Springs, Montauk, East Hampton, Tuckahoe, and Southampton school districts are slated to receive increases that are under the state average for increases to other school districts.
New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. blasted Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal, saying funding for East End schools is inadequate and, combined with the state-imposed cap on property tax levy increases, will short-change schools.
“The state legislature will have to work together regardless of geography and political party to provide a real school aid plan that serves all New Yorkers. The governor is not up to the task,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement.