The State Senate and Assembly today passed the remaining portions of the 2012-2013 State Budget. It is the second straight year that the Legislature passed the budget on time. In fact, this year's budget was passed early for the first time in 29 years.
In January, Governor Cuomo presented his proposed Executive Budget for 2012-2013. Under the governor's proposal, the Rockville Centre School District, despite a four percent increase in statewide aid to education, was to see only a $111,697 increase in state education aid.
During the budget process, the Legislature argued that funds budgeted by the governor for competitive performance grants for school districts should instead be allocated for general school aid. Additionally, the majority Senate and minority Assembly delegations fought for any redirected funds to be directly applied to a portion of the state aid formula that adversely affects school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
According to Assemblyman Brian Curran (Lynbrook-14th AD), "At a time when school districts are facing tough fiscal realities, the governor's proposal to budget $250 million for competitive performance grants, while in theory is a good idea, is misplaced. We need to direct all current available funds directly to state aid so that we provide school districts with the fiscal flexibility it needs to deal with the tax cap. As a state, we can revisit the funding of competitive performance grants at a later date when fiscal pressures on our school districts have decreased."
Following three months of budget negotiations, the final budget included a redirection of the competitive performance funds to general school aid. The final budget contained an $805 million increase in state aid for education from last year. Under the final budget, Rockville Centre will receive $198,646 in state aid. This is in addition to last week’s announcement regarding $75,000 state grant secured by the Legislature for the Rockville Centre School District.
Assemblyman Curran, who represents Rockville Centre, stated, "I am happy that we were able to take $200 million that was originally allocated for performance grants under the governor's plan and redirect it to general school aid.
Just as importantly, we successfully fought to have a portion of those funds directed toward a part of the education budget that adversely affects the school districts of Long Island, particularly Rockville Centre. This action resulted in the school district going from a marginal increase in state aid to receiving an increase in state aid of approximately $200,000," claimed Assemblyman Curran.
"At a time when every dollar is important to the Rockville Centre School District, I am happy that we were successful in significantly increasing the state aid to Rockville Centre for the upcoming year. I commend Senator Skelos who led the charge for increasing school aid to our Nassau County schools," concluded Curran.
Other highlights in the final budget include:
- Kept spending below 2% from the previous year;
- Provides funding for a cyber bullying education program;
- Merges, eliminates or consolidates over 29 state agencies, departments and councils;
- Increases funding for community colleges such as Nassau Community College;
- Increases library aid by $3.9 million; and
- Establishes the statewide job creation program NYWorks.
The 14th AD School District’s received the following increases in school aid:
-Oceanside = $552,835
-Valley Stream 13 = $391,094
-Valley Stream UF = $355,320
-Malverne = $307,820
-Lynbrook = $248,063
-Rockville Centre = $198,646
-East Rockaway = $177,071
-Baldwin = $143,450
-Valley Stream 24 = $83,279
Nassau County residents are encouraged to follow Assemblyman Curran on Facebook to stay up to date on his efforts for the community or call his office at 516-561-8216 for any state or local issue.