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Jan 24, 2017 10:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Thiele: Governor's Proposed State Aid Package Could Shortchange Three East End Schools

Fred Thiele is angry at how little state aid is being directed toward East End schools. FILE PHOTO
Jan 24, 2017 1:27 PM

Three school districts in Southampton and East Hampton towns will see cuts of nearly $60,000 in combined state aid next school year if Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $25.6 billion financial aid package is approved in its current form.

The proposed state education aid package, part of the governor’s recently unveiled $162 billion state budget for 2017-18, was immediately berated by State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor, who noted in a press release issued Monday that 14 of the 19 schools within his legislative district won’t even receive a 4.1-percent increase in state aid next year, the state average under the governor’s plan.

Three East End school districts—Sag Harbor, Remsenburg-Speonk and Amagansett—will actually see their state aid amounts decrease next year as they are projected to receive $21,933, $19,869, and $15,697 less, respectively, under Mr. Cuomo’s proposal. But the plan actually increases overall spending for state schools by $961 million, or 4.1 percent.

State officials also announced last week that the allowable tax levy increase for school districts for next year will be 1.26 percent, an increase of 0.56 percentage points over last year’s cap of 0.7 percent. The state cap is 2 percent or an amount equal to the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.

“The governor gets a failing grade when it comes to educating our children on eastern Long Island,” Mr. Thiele said in a prepared statement issued Monday, roughly a week after the governor released the first draft of his proposed state budget.

If the financial aid package remains unchanged, the Sag Harbor School District will receive $1,821,622 in state funding next year, Remsenburg-Speonk will take home $565,419, and Amagansett will receive $371,951.

All of the remaining school districts in the two municipalities—with the exception of the Sagaponack Common School District, which is too small to qualify for financial assistance—are expected to see increases in state aid next year, but not by much. For example, the East Quogue School District, which was classified by Albany as being on the verge of moderate fiscal stress last year, is expected to receive $1,175,214 in state aid next year—a $65 bump.

Mr. Thiele said the governor’s proposal is a disaster in that it ignores the needs of Long Island’s school districts.

“The State Legislature will have to work together regardless of geography and political party to provide a real school aid plan that serves all New Yorkers,” he said. “The governor is not up to the task.”

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Who is the governor pd off at... Someone crossed him...
By knitter (1902), Southampton on Jan 24, 17 1:55 PM
Everyone.......there isn't s soul is isn't fighting with....the Legislature, AG, Comptroller, NYC Mayor........he has the narcissism of Trump but without the charm.
By shadow captain (34), sag harbor on Jan 24, 17 3:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cuomo is anti-education. That being said, at $35,000 per student, you're looking at about $700,000 per classroom and that seems high to me.
By even flow (990), East Hampton on Jan 24, 17 5:13 PM
If a district is spending $35,000 per student they should all be going to Harvard.
By realistic (468), westhampton on Jan 24, 17 9:12 PM
$35,000 per student? Some districts are in this range, Southampton, Tuckahoe, Springs, East Hampton, Sag Harbor. Others are not: Sagaponack (over $40k), Montauk (over $58k), Bridgehampton (over $60k), Amagansett (over $75k), and last but not at all least, Wainscott (over $100k). How could this be? Because all these tiny districts shouldn't exist, and the money could be better used for smaller more efficient districts. Why do they stay this way? Because there are little tax havens within the towns, ...more
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 27, 17 1:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
So, what is ineffectual Fred going to do about this?

By Frank Wheeler (1823), Northampton on Jan 24, 17 7:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Send a strongly worded memo, that will get his attention! He might even use words like "darn" and "heck" before he waddles out of his office for latte.
By Preliator Lives (431), Obamavillie on Jan 25, 17 6:37 AM
Here's an idea make teachers pay benefits like the rest of us slaves.
By chief1 (2786), southampton on Jan 24, 17 10:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
No way teachers from gym class to social studies should be making $125,000 a year for what amounts to 7 months of actual time working. Every holiday, weekends, winter, spring, summer with full benefits. Now that common core and the president's new education secretary...Cuomo...they're starting to get called out and it's freaking them out. It's way out of hand when the bulk of my taxes go to the school and the roads, beaches are crap.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Jan 24, 17 11:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe the State is worried that Easthampton will spend the money on an enormous settlement with a construction company that never built anything, or that Sag Harbor will buy an expensive building they don't need, or that Southampton will spend the money on a settlement for a fired Superintendent who did something that won't be revealed.

Oh wait, all these things happened. Maybe the State government is concerned with poor oversight by local school boards that don't actually keep the education ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 25, 17 8:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
Don't forget Bridgehampton voting themselves a $25 million bond for expansion.
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 27, 17 12:58 PM
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