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State Budget Offers More School Aid for Local Districts

Sayville and Bayport-Blue Point districts to receive more than a 4 percent boost.

The Bayport-Blue Point and Sayville School Districts will reap more state aid from the latest state budget proposal and the increases should help ease budget constraints as district leaders prepare final school budget proposals.

Initial state aid projections back in January were glum for both districts and school leaders stated Long Island districts were not getting a fair shake in state aid distribution. Sayville Superintendent Dr. Walter Schartner noted at the time that the initial aid projections did not cover new state mandates.

In January Sayville was to receive a .82 percent aid increase, amounting to about $186,000. The current aid proposal boosts that increase to 4.06 percent, for a total of $920,987.

Last year the Sayville district received $22,686,285 in aid. The current aid projection would boost that to $23,607,272.

Schartner told Patch in an email that while the district is happy more aid is forthcoming, legislators need to make some budget changes.

“We will review the current budget information with the board of education. We did receive more aid with the revised numbers. Although we are grateful for the increase we feel that the Gap Elimination Adjustment needs to be eliminated. The GEA has cost the taxpayers of Sayville nine million dollars over the past three years,” he wrote.

B-BP’s state aid was initially projected to provide a 1.26 percent boost, representing an increase of $191,326 from the current school year aid. The new budget would give the district a 4.86 percent increase, about $739,881 more in state aid over this year’s aid.

Last year the B-BP district received $15,222,504 in total state aid. The new state aid projection boosts the total state aid figure to $15,962,385.

B-BP Superintendent Dr. Vincent Butera told Patch in an email that the district is pleased state legislators were able to get more aid for the district.

"We are grateful for the efforts of our legislators in restoring the high tax aid for our district and others on Long Island. This additional funding will assist us in maintaining the quality programs that the district's community values,” he stated.

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