The proposed state aid package for New York school districts was released Wednesday so Patch reached out to Sayville School Superintendent Dr. Walter Schartner to get feedback on the district's reaction and what it means when it comes to developing next year's spending plan.
Patch: What is your first impression of the state aid projection from the state? Worse or better than you expected?
Schartner: From the governor’s proposal we are receiving a .82 percent increase in state aid. ($186,000). This does not even cover the new mandates from the state this year. The worst case we anticipated a 2 percent increase. If the governor increased the state education budget 4 percent, it is certainly not coming to Long Island.
Patch: How challenging does the figure make the upcoming budget process. Is it clear that there will have to be cuts in either staff or operations, or are you hopeful the number will get bigger from the state?
Schartner: It is early for speculation on staffing but the lack of funds is going to make this budget a challenge to maintain opportunities and services.
Patch: Does the district/BOE intend to meet the tax cap mandate this year - can that be done with the proposed aid?
Schartner: The Sayville Board of Education currently is planning to stay at or below the tax levy cap.
Patch: Any other comments or thoughts you want to share with residents and taxpayers?
Schartner: The taxpayers should contact their NYS Senators and demand our fair share of NYS aid to education. We continue to subsidize the rest of the state and we cannot afford it anymore.