The 20 schools in the 40th New York State senate district are set to receive a total of $229,282,244—a 9-percent increase from last year—in state aid for the 2013-2014 academic year.
That's according to State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C—Patterson), who issued a statement on the news late Tuesday. He said that districts in Brewster, Mount Pleasant and Valhalla were looking at the biggest cuts in state aid under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget.
Cuomo's plan called for Brewster to see $13,819,462. Last year the district received more than $14.5 million. Now, Brewster will likely see $15,682,179, according to Ball.
Brewster schools, which are closed for spring recess, are , next year. Earlier this month, school officials said the proposed district budget, which comes in at $85,713,070, carries a 2.5-percent tax levy increase. At that time, state aid numbers were not available.
"If this is as good as it looks, that’s great, because its been a very painful spring," Board of Education President Dr. Stephen Jambor said. "We’re having [Deputy Superintendent Timothy] Mr. Conway look over it to make sure we understand exactly what's in this package."
Jambor expects the funding to be earmarked in some way, and said it's unlikely to come in the form of a "blank check." Restrictions would dictate which parts of the budget the money would impact, but there a few items that would be near the top of the list if the funding allows.
One of those items is the reduction of the Naval Junior ROTC program at the Brewster High School, which frustrated many community members. Another is academic support in the younger grades.
There is a chance that the money could also impact an initiative school officials were working on "behind the scenes," Jambor said, referring to full-day kindergarten. Brewster is one of a handful of districts in the state that do not offer it, according to Jambor. The idea was pushed aside because of the "dire" budget situation.
"I have kids over in China right now, I have kids who just came back from Ireland," he said, adding that Brewster is "fundamentally missing the boat" without full-day kindergarten.
Decisions on what to do with the money won't come until administrators have reviewed the funding. Another budget discussion is scheduled for the April 2 board meeting. An adoption is slated for April 16, and the public vote, which will contain a proposition on school bus purchases, will happen May 21.
The following chart was provided by Ball's office: