Local school chiefs content with state aid figures

Districts' officials appreciative of higher-than-expected numbers


Each of the three local school districts will be receiving higher-than-expected state aid for the 2014-15 school year, Sen. Jack Martins (R-7th District) announced.

Sewanhaka, Elmont and Franklin Square School District officials can all breathe a sigh of relief now that confirmed state aid figures have been released — and each number is more than the projections in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Proposal, which were released in January. At the time, the superintendent of each district was less than thrilled and expressed the need to maximize aid in order to preserve important educational programs and staff.

Dr. Ralph Ferrie, superintendent of Sewanhaka District — comprised of Elmont Memorial, H. Frank Carey, Sewanhaka, Floral Park Memorial and New Hyde Park Memorial High Schools — said when those projections were released that the amount of aid received would need to be more than $28 million in order to offset any state-mandated costs even minimally. Sewanhaka will receive $1.2 million more than that, and Ferrie said it helps to fund his top priority of maintaining student programs.

“The Sewanhaka District remains appreciative of Senator Martins’ advocacy regarding the increase in state aid that the district received at the conclusion of the budgetary process,” Ferrie said in a release. “The additional aid will help the district maintain student programs and teaching staff positions.  These extremely difficult economic times which are highlighted by the budgetary tax cap on the local tax levy present a significant challenge to the Sewanhaka Central High School District. The District is grateful.”

Elmont School District — comprised of Dutch Broadway, Alden Terrace, Covert Avenue, Stewart Manor, Gotham Avenue and Clara H. Carlson Elementary Schools — will receive 8.24 percent more than the $20.9 million it has received in the current school year. Under the governor’s proposal, Elmont would have received 5.1 percent in additional aid, which Superintendent Al Harper said in January would have helped but would not have met expectations. The senator’s increase is one Harper said the District is “extremely grateful” for.

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