The $805 million breaks down as follows:
· $265 million – expense-driven aid. The state reimburses districts a portion of certain expenses such as transportation and BOCES programs. This is not new aid; it is the promised reimbursement for monies spent last year.
· $290 million – foundation aid. This is the basic aid the state provides to operate our schools.
· $250 million – performance-based grants. Districts that demonstrate high improvement or high achievement compete for these funds.
Under the governor’s proposal, Massena is slated to receive:
· $152,875 in expense driven aid. (This is not new, this is money the state already owes the district.)
· $508,123 in foundation aid. This restores a portion of the aid the state has deducted to help balance the state budget.
Every little bit helps
“We are pleased to get the additional foundation aid. A half million dollars pays for valuable teachers and programs that prepare our students for success in college and the workplace,” said Superintendent of Schools Roger B. Clough II.
“No one should think this is some major windfall for the district. That $500,000 is not 4 percent; it’s 3.44 percent. And further, this is not a real increase in aid, the state is simply giving us back a part of what they took away to help address the state’s budget deficit. Massena will still receive $2,174,060 less basic aid in 2012-13 than we received in 2008-09.”
Mr. Clough compared the increase in foundation aid to your employer promising you a $200 raise and cuts your paycheck $100. The next year, he gives back $25 dollars and tells everyone he gave you a $25 raise.
Would Massena benefit from competitive grants?
Almost a third of the governor’s aid increase is committed to performance-based or competitive grants.
“This is the state’s reward to those districts that do well,” said Mr. Clough.
“The reality is those schools that do well have the financial resources to provide their students with a rich academic program. It’s not hard to accept that a Long Island school spending twice as much per student as Massena will outperform us. Where is the logic in giving that high-performing school even more money? It will merely widen the educational cap between the haves and have-nots.”
Instead, Mr. Clough believes the money dedicated to competitive grants should be distributed to high needs school districts such as Massena.
According to calculations by the Alliance for Quality Education, Massena would receive more than $350,000 if New York used to competitive grants to fund foundation aid.
For a complete list, visit the AQE website: http://www.aqeny.org/ny/