Final state aid numbers to schools due Monday
School districts will finally have definite state aid numbers from Albany by Monday. Many are hoping for a legislative miracle that allocated more money for education. As our Katie Gibas reports, even though Governor Andrew Cuomo put $850 million back into New York State public schools, many districts still lost state aid compared to last year
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ONONDAGA COUNTY -- The sigh of relief educators breathed when Governor Cuomo announced additional state aid for schools was premature for many districts in Central New York.
"We lost 130 employees a year ago. We lost 30 more employees this year. We're going to lose a lot more employees next year. It just seems like there's no end in sight," said Dr. Richard Johns, the Liverpool Superintendent.
Kraig Pritts, the Tully Superintendent added, "We have done what the state asked us to do. We applied reserves for the past two years, and those funds are running low at this point. Just like when you can't replenish to the same level that you're spending, your savings account runs dry."
Despite the additional funds, a number of school districts, including Liverpool and Tully, still lost state aid. For Tully is was around $30,000. Liverpool lost $3.55 million. That's on top of cuts the last three years.
"It makes it tough because costs go up no matter what, whether it's pension costs, whether it's utility costs. There's still costs that increase and even having flatline budgets makes it difficult to make ends meet," said Pritts.
Out of that $850 million, $250 million was set aside as competitive grants, which low wealth district officials said isn't actually a competition at all.
"How do you pursue competitive grants when you're trying to keep your head above water? The state has got to step up and recognize that the format that they're using just isn't going to work," said Johns.
Educators are anxiously waiting to see if they might receive a small miracle when the final state aid numbers are released Monday.