With passage of the state budget, State Senator George Latimer (D-Rye) and Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Rye) announced increases in state aid to Sound Shore school districts.
Assemblyman Otis stated, Increasing state aid for Westchester school districts was a major priority for the Legislature this year. These increases will lesson pressure on property taxpayers and save important staff positions in Westchester school districts. As always, the Westchester Delegation pushed hard for fair treatment of suburban school districts.
Senator Latimer, from the Senate Education Committee, commented, These are the first significant increases in a number of years. I am very pleased that the state budget includes increases over last year and over the amounts proposed in the executive budget in January.
The adopted state budget includes a statewide increase of $936.6 million in aid to school districts that was accomplished by prioritizing education spending. Westchesters 40 school districts will receive an increase of over $39 million, about $11 million more than proposed in the executive budget in January.
The Sound Shore School Districts of Port Chester, Blind Brook, Rye, Rye Neck and Mamaroneck all received increases above recent years and over $100,000 above what had been proposed in January. Typically, aid was increased through additions in foundation aid, high tax aid, and GAP restoration aid. The additions were negotiated with the support of Governor Cuomo as part of the budget process.
Senator Latimer and Assemblyman Otis jointly stated, Protecting taxpayers and preserving quality education in Westchester can only be accomplished if state aid better reflects the needs of our communities. This state budget is a step in the right direction.