Wantagh, Seaford and Levittown schools are among the districts that will reap the rewards of a nearly $1 billion increase to school aid seen in the final 2018-19 New York state budget.
After a deal reached between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators late on March 30, schools statewide were set to receive $26.7 billion in education aid for the 2018-19 academic year.
Nassau County schools will receive $1.2 billion in state aid, including building aid — or $51.3 million more than the prior year — according to state budget documents.
Schools in the 8th Senate District — including Massapequa, Wantagh, Seaford, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport and part of Baldwin — were expected to get an additional $17.8 million, according to State Sen. John Brooks.
“As a former school board vice president, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by both taxpayers and school districts to provide high-quality education to students,” Brooks said on Monday. “I’m thrilled by the overall growth of aid for [District 8 schools]. I will continue fighting to secure additional aid and seek ways to further reduce property taxes on overburdened homeowners.”
This state aid increase comes as a sigh of relief for the Wantagh School District, as Adriana Silver, Wantagh’s assistant superintendent for business, said that they were concerned with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal.
“The Governor’s budget proposal would have resulted in a loss of almost $188,000 in State Aid for Wantagh,” Silver said, “compared to the 2017 legislative budget. Wantagh is pleased that the state legislature approved an increase to the Governor’s proposal for 2018.”
According to state budget documents, the Wantagh School District will see their state aid increase by 2.96 percent, or $491,863 more than what they received for the 2017-18 school year. Without money that is specifically given for building aid — money that directly helps school districts pay for new buildings or updating or expanding existing buildings — Wantagh will receive a 1.16 percent, or $176,312, increase in their 2018-19 state aid package.
The Seaford School District can expect $378,262 more in state aid for the upcoming school year, with only $54,804 of that increase going specifically towards building aid. That amounts to a 2.87 percent state aid increase without factoring in building aid.
Levittown schools will receive $1,763,581 in additional state aid for the 2018-19 school year, or a 3.16 increase from their 2017-18 package, which puts their overall aid package at $57,655,390. On March 27, days before the state budget adopted date, the district only expected about $55.7 million in state aid. As stated in their budget documents and meetings, the Levittown board will now readjust its proposed budget to factor in the extra $1.7 million.
The state’s numbers are estimates, which may be slightly higher or lower when individual districts’ budgets are finalized.