LaValle: SWR getting 8 percent boost in state aid

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04/01/2014 8:00 AM |
Shoreham-Wading River High School. (Credit: File)

Shoreham-Wading River High School. (Credit: File)

The Shoreham-Wading River School District is expected to receive nearly $9.42 million in state aid next fiscal year, which represents a 8.04 percent hike for 2014-15, according to data released Monday by state Senator Ken LaValle’s office.

State representatives have focused their efforts this year on restoring school aid lost by a budget adjustment formula known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, that has taken nearly $6.35 billion away from school districts since 2010.

Mr. LaValle said a major part of the newly proposed $1.1 billion increase in aid, or 5.3 percent, for New York public schools in 2014-15 is the restoration of $602 million in GEA.

“Superintendents in my district told me that their priority for this year’s budget was the reduction of the GEA — a budget-balancing fiasco imposed by the Democrats in 2010 when they controlled all three branches of government,” he said in a statement. “The state’s commitment to education is now well over $22 billion. This budget meets the needs of New York State’s children while, at the same time, providing property tax relief to residents who help underwrite the costs.”

The Legislature’s tentative budget also includes a $2 billion bond proposal to improve broadband infrastructure, classroom technologies and construct pre-kindergarten classroom spaces, state officials said.

The proposed Smart School Bond Act would be placed on the November ballot for voter approval. If approved, Shoreham-Wading River would receive about $1 million, state officials said.

Other education initiatives listed in the tentative budget include: a $1.5 billion investment over five years to support a statewide universal full-day pre-kindergarten program; and a Teacher Excellence Fund to reward each teacher rated “highly effective” through a newly mandated evaluation process with a bonus of up to $20,000.

The Legislature is expected to adopt the tentative $138 billion spending plan before Tuesday’s deadline.

jennifer@timesreview.com