Budget deal restores some state aid to Southold schools

Southold Town’s school districts weren’t expecting much in the way of state aide this year, and even with funds restored in the state budget agreement announced this week, all local schools will received less next year.

By percentage, Oysterponds takes the largest hit. It will receive $296,586 , 11.5 percent below this year’s aid.

Southold drops 10.89 percent to $1,56 million, virtually identical to Mattituck-Cutchogue’s 10.88 percent reduction. Mattituck will get $2.59 million in state assistance for the 2011-2012 school year.

Greenport took a lesser hit at a 4.42 percent reduction and will receive $1.12 million.

Governor Andrew Cuomo had called for a 15 percent across the board cut in school aid, but with the additional funded added by the legislature, the cut averages 7 percent. As is usual in a state that often misses the April 1 budget adoption deadline, North Fork school districts factored in Mr. Cuomo’s numbers in preparing next year’s budgets.

Lawmakers say the legislature did the best it could in a stormy fiscal climate.

“Long Island’s traditional share of school aid, though reduced, will be in line with what it has received in the past,” said State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson). “I do not expect to hear that programs for our children will be eliminated. This is the time to start redesigning the education process so that taxpayers are getting the maximum investment for their dollars,” he said.

Freshman Assemblyman Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham) said the state made “tough but necessary“ decisions to close a $10 billion deficit.

“While lawmakers were able to restore some funding to Long Island school districts, more needs to be done to lower the burdens our state places on local governments and school districts,” he said.

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