The Hauppauge School District will receive $178,200 more than it expected in state aid under the latest New York state budget, which passed in Albany on Wednesday. It's news the administration says will lead to a smaller tax levy for the next school year. Though, only slightly smaller.
“What we are going to do is recommend to the board that it be used to lower the tax levy that is 4.14 percent to 3.90 percent,” said James Stucchio, assistant superintendent of business and operations.
Under the new state budget, Hauppauge schools will receive $11.8 million in state educational aid for the 2011-2012 school year, funding 12 percent of its
However, the funds recovered under the state budget fail to close a $1.4 million cut to the district’s foundation aid,, which is used to pay for educational expenses including technology, software, transportation and more.
To close this gap, the proposed draft budget calls for the elimination of 23 teaching positions, five teacher assistants, combining middle school teams and slashes funding for co-curricular activities.
Overall, Hauppauge Public Schools will receive $523,757 more in state aid than in 2010-2011, an increase of 4.64 percent. Stucchio said the increase is due to New York giving the district an extra $1.3 million to put towards a $1.7 million bond payment related to a $28 million bond the district took to pay for . Many of these projects are nearing completion, as school officials held a ribbon cutting on the new auditorium on March 25.
While there are no restrictions on using that$1.3 million for educational purposes, Stucchio said it would leave the district facing the same financial issues.
“If we were going to use it to fund teachers, we still have $1.7 million in capital payments to make,” the assistant superintendent said. “It’s all part of the same budget.”
The Hauppauge Board of Education will meet on April 5 at 8 p.m. at Hauppauge Administrative Offices to adopt the 2011-2012 budget. A public budget hearing is scheduled for May 10.