Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie), Chair, Senate Education Committee, today announced that the Senate has passed the 2006-07 Education budget legislation that provides $17.65 billion for schools statewide. Dutchess County will receive an increase in school aid of $14,328,660 and $18,948,696 in Excel, a capital fund established to assist schools with construction and technology needs. The budget provides a record increase of $1.1 billion in general support for public schools, $450 million more than provided in the Governor's budget proposal - an overall school aid increase of nearly 7 percent.
The budget will provide New Yorkers with almost $2 billion in property tax relief, including $72 million for STAR cost of living increases for senior citizens and $805 million in funding in the form of property tax rebates for STAR recipients.
The budget restores proposed cuts in BOCES and special education aid. This funding helps schools reduce anticipated school tax increases, as well as maintain threatened education programs.
"I am pleased that our budget will provide schools with funding levels that will not only continue the programs vital to the quality of education available in Dutchess County but mitigate potential school tax increases," said Senator Saland "The lower level of funding proposed in the Governor’s budget would have placed a financial burden on local homeowners and businesses. Our school children will benefit from this record education increase."
In addition, Senator Saland secured $200,000 for the City of Beacon Magnet School. The Senate’s 2006-07 education budget bill also provides $580,589 in capital aid for the Mid-Hudson Library System, which includes 22 libraries in Dutchess County, and $2,265,332 in additional funding for the public libraries operating aid - an increase of almost 9 percent over the Governor's proposal.
"This year’s on-time budget will provide the additional benefit of giving Dutchess County school districts adequate time to plan for the coming year," said Senator Saland.