Local Schools Receive Additional State Aid

Hugh T. Farley

May 05, 2008

Ten school districts in the four-county 44th State Senate District will share an additional $500,000 in State aid. State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) obtained the special aid to assist districts facing unusual financial pressures.

"This year, total non-capital State aid for the 22 school districts in my four counties went up nearly $30 million -- to a total of over $338 million -- and every school in our area received a State aid increase over last year," Senator Farley noted, "Although this is a nearly ten percent overall increase, several districts still face particular problems. I'm pleased to have been able to obtain this additional State funding."

The largest additional grant goes to the Gloversville Enlarged School District, which will receive $200,000. This will bring Gloversville's total non-capital State aid to $30.47 million, an increase of $3.45 million over last year. Added to special aid which Senator Farley delivered last fall, this brings the Senator's special assistance to Gloversville to $550,000 in the past six months.

Along with Gloversville, the following school districts received special State aid grants obtained by Senator Farley: Broadalbin-Perth ($28,366, bringing the total State aid increase over 2007 to nearly $670,000), Johnstown ($50,000, up almost $1.13 million), Oppenheim-Ephratah ($27,182, up over $480,000), Amsterdam ($50,000, up nearly $3.1 million), Fonda-Fultonville ($22,473, up over $646,000), Fort Plain ($14,234, up nearly $775,000), St. Johnsville ($22,487, up nearly $360,000), Corinth ($35,258, up over $1.25 million), and Schenectady ($50,000, up nearly $10.5 million).

"In addition to this additional aid, Assemblyman Marc Butler and I have introduced legislation which would exempt Gloversville from the added costs of the Contract for Excellence program," Senator Farley said. He noted that Gloversville became subject to the added costs solely because one group of students did poorly on a standardized test in one year. "My legislation would exempt school districts which experience a one-time problem that is corrected by the start of the next school year," he added.

Other local school districts were affected by changes in the BOCES funding formula, and by data adjustments made in February by the State Education Department.

"The Executive Budget proposed in January made major changes to the BOCES funding formula which hurt most districts, but appeared to benefit a few," Senator Farley explained. "Although the Legislature and Governor Paterson agreed to return to the previous formula, some of the districts which would have benefited from the changes had already included the higher aid proposal in their budget planning."

In addition, in February the State Education Department made technical corrections to the database which drives the aid formula. This resulted in discrepancies between the January aid projections used by school districts in budget planning, and the final April figures.