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Additional State Aid Will Curb Comsewogue Layoffs

After state legislators agreed to give more aid to Comsewogue School District, increased funding will limit layoffs to 19, as opposed to the 22.6 positions originally suggested.

After state legislators agreed on giving $450,000 more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed in his executive budget, Comsewogue Assistant Superintendent Susan Casali said on Wednesday that the additional funding will go toward reducing the number of layoffs in next year's budget by nearly four positions.

Comsewogue officials . State legislators agreed at the end of March to grant the district $24.98 million in aid - up from $24.53 million the governor proposed - providing the funding for over three and a half positions.

After state lawmakers negotiated the governor's competitive grant program down from $250 million to $50 million, additional funding was made available throughout the state. 

Casali said the district had already put a budget together assuming it would be getting more aid than Cuomo had proposed, so the $450,000 difference between the two budgets won't have a huge an effect.

"The district restored teaching staff with the additional funds," Casali said via email. "We were already hoping for some of these funds coming back to us so the additional revenue for budget purposes was $300,000."

Two teaching positions in the elementary school will be restored, as will one sixth grade teacher in the middle school. In addition, Casali said, two special sections will also be saved.

According to a presentation on the school website (attached as a PDF), the district will also use some of the additional aid to reduce cuts in the athletics department (by $12,000 less than previously proposed), and administration efficiencies ($9,400). An updated presentation calls for more cuts in extracurricular activities ($5,000) and transportation costs ($250).

A property tax report card filed with the State Department of Education (attached as a PDF) states that the district still plans on proposing a budget which pierces the tax cap levy, estimated to increase 4.5 percent over last year.

New York State law requires 60 percent of voters to approve a school budget if it exceeds the cap.

Fred April 19, 2012 at 08:56 PM
so the district finds more money, and they still think they should break the cap. This is insane. When do the residents catch a break? I'll be voting NO!
John April 20, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I wonder what budgets would look like with self funded retirement programs.

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