Thursday, March 31, 2011

Budget Notes

The NY budget has actually passed, Albany Approves Budget – On Time | FrumForum

The Assembly closed its gallery because it did not have enough people to handle crowd control. One protester was arrested for reportedly hitting a legislative staffer in the head with a cymbal....
The budget restores about $230 million of the $1.5 billion reduction in education spending that Mr. Cuomo proposed. The majority of that restoration, $134 million, will go to counties north of New York City. Another $53 million will go to New York City, and $43 million will go to Long Island.
Senator John J. Flanagan, a Long Island Republican and the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said the restorations were aimed at “achieving a regional balance” in school financing. “We took a bad situation and made it better,” he said. “It’s not perfect.”
From Syracuse, we hear Budget gives Onondaga County schools $24 million less:
Because the Legislature restored some aid, the district expects to eliminate 500 positions from its payroll instead of the 584 it would have had to trim under Cuomo’s budget proposal, Lowengard said.

How much state aid will your school district get? |

Under the approved cuts, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District will sustain an 11.6 percent cut in aid, the biggest drop in Onondaga County. Under the governor's proposal, the district would have lost 20 percent of its aid compared to last year. Not counting building aid, F-M will receive $12.6 million from the state, nearly $1.7 million less than last year.
The Liverpool School District will see the smallest drop in school aid, 1.5 percent, in Onondaga County. Under Cuomo's plan, the district would have lost 14.7 percent.

And Hamilton goes down to $3,218,215 in state aid, a cut of $141,124 or 4.2%.oops, see update below.

Also from Syracuse, unions make concessions to save three percent of the jobs being cut according to North Syracuse School District unions offer concessions to help budget - NewsChannel 9 WSYR

11 unions in the North Syracuse School District agreed to several concessions in an effort to ease the tax burden on their community. The union's move will enable the district to save 15 positions.
Most of the concessions they made involved their health care plan. They say the concessions will save the school district $1.2 million.

Generic info on the budget at Governor touts “historic, transformational” budget | Politics on the Hudson

The budget realigns education financing to meet New York’s fiscal reality and provide sustainable and predictable funding while reaffirming the commitment to improve educational outcomes in the classroom. Prior to this budget, education spending was projected to grow at an unaffordable rate of 13 percent for the 2011-12 school year.

Comments on the disparate impact of budget cuts on upstate schools at Our view: Make equity in education aid a priority - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

The average tax levy needed to fill the gap left in budgets in Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES schools, based on proposed reductions in aid for 2011-12, is 11.80 percent. In wealthier Rockland County, where the same aid reduction is a smaller percentage of the budget, the average tax levy needed to fill the gap is 3.03 percent.
That means local districts need to either raise taxes by an unacceptable amount or, much more likely, slice more meat out of their programs. As a result, area students get less than their counterparts in wealthier districts.
“Downstate is cutting specialized programs,” Mettelman said. “We’re cutting English teachers.”

Of course, that doesn't mean that everybody downstate is happy. State Budget Gives City 'Very Modest' Restorations, Says Bloomberg Administration - WNYC

The Bloomberg Administration is still looking at the city's share of the state budget, but officials say it appears as though the legislature restored only about 1/3 of the $600 million the mayor relied on his budget — which already included agency cuts and nearly 4,700 teacher layoffs.
Director of State Legislative Affairs for the city, Micah Lasher, said the city wasn't treated fairly by Albany lawmakers.
"When they cut revenue sharing for other localities, there was a 3 percent cut," he said. "For New York City, there was a 100 percent cut.
NY Budgeting: worse for everybody than for anybody else!

update: Apparently things aren't quite as they seem; how unusual. Our Superintendent comments/corrects the values cited above on ...What it means for HCS

In the new runs, they took the Jobs money out so it looks like districts are being cut far less that they are. The numbers are deceiving and look much more favorable. They show Hamilton losing -3.38% in aid (with building aid) instead of 11.03%.
The new run also increases projected expense driven aids....In reality, even with an increase in projected expense driven aids, we are now at -8.38% in aid loss, using the original values as they were depicted in February.
All in all, the good news is that we are $94,000 to the good in real figures.This will certainly help!

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