Cuomo cuts will strip local schools of more than $1 million

02/02/2011 9:45 AM |


BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | New York Governor Andrew Cuomo


Another year, another governor proposing school aid cuts. And this time, it’s a biggie.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget cuts school aid by 7.3 percent statewide and 8.2 percent in Suffolk County.

The cuts in education, reportedly one of the largest proposed statewide cuts ever, are part of a plan to eliminate a $10 billion state deficit, according to Governor Cuomo.

Locally, school districts can expect to see the following cuts:

Mattituck-Cutchogue— 14.2 percent or $423,641

Southold  — 18.9 percent or $346,802

Greenport — 15.7 percent or $198,806

Oysterponds — 17.9 percent or $64,294

Mattituck-Cutchogue Superintendent Jim McKenna said Wednesday that he has been warning his district that it would see at least a 10 percent cut in funding for next year.

“Was I shocked, no, but it was a little more severe than we’d like,” he said.

Mr. McKenna said that, while the numbers provided by Mr. Cuomo’s office Wednesday showed that Mattituck-Cutchogue would only receive $2.526 million next year — a 14.2 percent cut — his district business manager informed him that the district usually budgets more conservatively because they tend to actually receive “a couple hundred thousand dollars less” than initially proposed by the governor.

Mr. McKenna said that, between the state cuts and federal cuts, Mattituck-Cutchogue will likely receive about half a million dollars less than last year. He predicted at a school board meeting two months ago that the district could cut as many as ten employees as a result of the state and federal cuts, but said Wednesday that where those cuts might come from has not yet been determined. He said that the district plans to have a first draft of its 2011-12 budget, including cuts, by March 10.

“We’re looking for cuts that have a minimum impact on student services,” he said. “But people have to really understand that we’re getting a shellacking.”

What troubles Southold Superintendent David Gamberg is that the cuts are again based on a state aid formula determined by property wealth that doesn’t reflect actual wealth of taxpayers.


“The formula is flawed,” Mr. Gamberg said, noting that North Fork residents are hard hit by the Great Recession that has left many unemployed or under-employed, while also reducing the value of their property.


As for potential spending cuts, “Everything is being looked at up to and including personnel,” Mr. Gamberg said.


While the district is fully aware of the state’s financial difficulties, Mr. Gamberg said he had hoped that deep cuts in education funding would be coupled with relief from some mandates, but that has not been the case.

The potential loss in state aid comes as the Southold district anticipates d  a 30 percent hike in employee pension contributions.

The governor is proposing to cut school aid by $1.5 billion statewide, but says this represents only 2.9 percent of total school expenditures statewide. School aid is the largest state-supported program and represents 29 percent of the state’s general fund, the Governor said in his budget address.

To offset the cuts, Governor Cuomo is allowing $250 million statewide that would be allocated on a competitive basis to school districts that demonstrate significant improvement in student performance outcomes, and another $250 million to districts that undertake long-term structural changes to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Comments

comments

18 Comment

  • Riverhead? ????

  • Cut aide or raise your taxes…again ? Which would you prefer ? Also I don’t understand why some of the Suffolk County school Superintendents are receiving salaries in excess of $400.000 plus ? Coumo wanted a tax cap but board of school Superintendents voted against that , because then the school can’t raise their tax margins they say they need to run the school. I think the school’s should rethink their budgets and get rid of any unecessary expenditures and I’m sure there are plenty. Surely I don’t want to see anyone loose their jobs, teachers don’t have to worry as they have tenure, but surely cuts can be made without sacrificing the children’s education, who are the ones we should be concernd about….Not just politics as usual.

  • its a simple formula a county wide school system one superintendent Each building has a principal –who hires and fires and does his budget – there could be a parent board at each building that was elected and worked with the principal – state teaching and learning standards would be the same if the students dont do well its on the principal to make the changes cant do it fire him anf get one that can- and the buying power of the county would allow for savings for mass purchases , eliminate the Wicks law -which requires q school district to be its own Gen. Contractor at “prevailing Wage ” which is political speak for union wage
    if a new facilty is sought and the cost is a county cost thus elimnating rich vs. poor districts , also a county district could allow for “vouchers and Magnate schools so parents could actually choose whats best for their children – but all this is heresy – so get ready to pay and pay and pay – without a drastic change and some out of the box thinking we are screwed

  • Keep slashing Andy… Now lets slash teachers and administrators. No more sacred cows. It’s refreshing to watch a Democrat try to act like a responsible Republican. Let’s hope it actually happens.

  • Keep slashing Andy… Now lets slash teachers and administrators. No more sacred cows. It’s refreshing to watch a Democrat try to act like a responsible Republican. Let’s hope it actually happens.

  • Keep slashing Andy… Now lets slash teachers and administrators. No more sacred cows. It’s refreshing to watch a Democrat try to act like a responsible Republican. Let’s hope it actually happens.

  • Being a long time NOFO resident, grew up there my entire life and went to Mattituck H.S. and am proud to have had the privilege of growing up there. Although, I’m currently living on the South Shore of Island at present. I just wanted to say this about the current school budget cuts, now while I’m sympathic to all concerned with these cuts. You all should consider yourselves lucky that all you’re losing is a combined 1 million dollars, be thankful that’s all, as it could much,much more ! Sacham H.S. District lost over 16 million, Longwood H.S. District lost 8 or 9 million, Brentwood School District lost about 8 million and William Floyd School District lost around 7 or 8 million from their budgets. So count your blessings, you got off cheap compared to the rest of Suffolk County School Districts and you should be happy that’s all they took from you.

  • Mr. FRS Jr.

    Teachers do have to worry, as do all public employees. The only way to absorb the large cuts in state aid is by eliminating positions, tenure or not tenure, thousands of teachers will lose their jobs state wide, count on it!!

  • riverhead hs employs 5 principals and 5 curriculum directors and half of the 9th graders cant read or are marginal – no one minds paying for something that works something is radically wrong with this system
    being grateful that we arent being “punished ” more harshly in our individual districts is a sign of how convoluted our thinking is becoming- i dont think we should lower our -expectations think of ourselves as “lucky ”

  • Well, if some of employee’s valued their job moreso than their pay check. There’s a simply way and this just “one” of many suggestions out there. They could take a small cut in pay anywhere from 2% -5% if you did this statewide, not only would you save jobs, you would make a big dent in the NY State budget deficit of which is nearing 10 billion dollars. Cuts have to made somewhere and some people have to willing to make certain sacrifices or would they rather loose they jobs. Believe, the job market sucks out there and anyone who has a job, should count their blessings and be glad they have a job to go too, week in and week out. I don’t know what the best solution is going to be where everybody will be happy with the outcome, but I’m realistic in knowing that cuts have to be made and some people will be on the negative side of that decision. Cuts or higher taxes, You decide ? And, like I said before I really don’t want to see anyone, anyone at all have to loose their job.

  • Well, if some of employee’s valued their job moreso than their pay check. There’s a simply way and this just “one” of many suggestions out there. They could take a small cut in pay anywhere from 2% -5% if you did this statewide, not only would you save jobs, you would make a big dent in the NY State budget deficit of which is nearing 10 billion dollars. Cuts have to made somewhere and some people have to willing to make certain sacrifices or would they rather loose they jobs. Believe, the job market sucks out there and anyone who has a job, should count their blessings and be glad they have a job to go too, week in and week out. I don’t know what the best solution is going to be where everybody will be happy with the outcome, but I’m realistic in knowing that cuts have to be made and some people will be on the negative side of that decision. Cuts or higher taxes, You decide ? And, like I said before I really don’t want to see anyone, anyone at all have to loose their job.

  • Who wouldn’t want a job that you only work 182 days a year but get a full time salary and GREAT benefits! (And guaranteed a fantastic pension no matter what kind of job you did?) It is time to face the facts, that our public schools are not doing their job very well this includes a lack of quality education standards and lack of accountability for how our taxes are spent and how are children are educated. Why is it that Southold UFSD renews its superintendent contract every year and increases the cost yet the contract is good for 3 years? Just who do our public school really look after? Our kids or the employees?…certainly not the taxpayer. Think about it. Gamberg admits that it is the pension system that is going to cost Southold this year, not improving the quality of education for the students. Wake up and smell the stench, remember the bonuses to Superintendent Gallagher even when budget money was miss spend and missing! The Long Island Superintendent Association has done us all in…youbetter get a second or third job to pay your taxes!

  • Who wouldn’t want a job that you only work 182 days a year but get a full time salary and GREAT benefits! (And guaranteed a fantastic pension no matter what kind of job you did?) It is time to face the facts, that our public schools are not doing their job very well this includes a lack of quality education standards and lack of accountability for how our taxes are spent and how are children are educated. Why is it that Southold UFSD renews its superintendent contract every year and increases the cost yet the contract is good for 3 years? Just who do our public school really look after? Our kids or the employees?…certainly not the taxpayer. Think about it. Gamberg admits that it is the pension system that is going to cost Southold this year, not improving the quality of education for the students. Wake up and smell the stench, remember the bonuses to Superintendent Gallagher even when budget money was miss spend and missing! The Long Island Superintendent Association has done us all in…youbetter get a second or third job to pay your taxes!

  • Kswani, kudos to you ! Very well said, concise and to the point and more importantly…true ! People, don’t like to hear the truth or wake up, open their eyes and what is really going on right around them. By, ignoring the facts, doesn’t mean it’s going to go away, it’s going to get worse. If you were told you had a maglignant tumor somewhere in your body and were told if we operate now we can remove the “tumor” and save your life ! Or, would you choose to sit back ignore the fact that the “tumor” does in fact exists, but you choose not to do anything about it, that’ll it will just go away all by itself. Well, it won’t it will grow until it eventually kills you. Sorry, about the metaphor but I think I made my point as did you Kswani.

  • in william floyd they need to cut superintendants and principals they need one strict principal and thats all and get a dress code in progresss, also i never heard of 2 teachers in a classroom that is totally ridiculous

  • Administrative pay is beyond ridiculous! Excess of 400,000! You could employ 8 teachers wuth that. It’s absolute insanity.

  • By what rule of law does Mr. Spota have the right to “cut a deal” with Mr. Levy, allowing him to remain in an elected office to the end of the term. Mr. Levy should be out of office now with his second in command taking over until the term ends. This situation is disgusting.

  • I wouldnt open the sites in REACTIONS. they are viruses.