Earlier this week, the Times Union published an article on state aid for area school districts that included a chart showing Averill Park will receive over $1.5M less in aid from New York State under the Governor’s budget proposal. While accurate, it only tells half of the story.

 

Most of that reduction is due to a reduction in what is called “building aid,” which are funds used to help a school pay off building projects. Last spring, when voters approved a building project for infrastructure improvements and renovate our HS auditorium, we informed the community that the project completed in 1998 was about to be paid off completely. Therefore, the new project coming on line at that time would result in no increase in the tax rate. 

 

As we stated, that project is now paid off, and the resulting aid we receive to pay for the project ends as well. Therefore, while the aid has gone down, so have our payments.

 

In our “Operating Aid,” which is the money that is primarily used to pay for our program, we received a 2.1 percent increase, or $394,000, for 2014-2015. That is actually too little to cover the cost of increased expenses in the upcoming budget, so we are asking our legislators for assistance in providing the aid that would enable us to keep our current program without any additional reductions. The amount we will need is approximately $350,000 in addition to what we will raise through property taxes, as well as the aid in the Governor’s budget proposal.

 

We are sharing this to clarify and better define our situation regarding state aid.  While it is still not good news, it is not as terrible as the Times-Union article would suggest.

 

Visit the 2014-15 Budget page

 

Posted January 24, 2014