Jul 26, 2014

Three Village Recovers Close to $400k in State Aid

School board to determine how the funds are used.

Three Village Recovers Close to $400k in State Aid

The Three Village Central School District will receive $389,000 more in state aid than administrators originally projected, according to data released late last week.

That amount includes an education grant of $100,000 that New York State Assemb. Steve Englebright, D-Setauket, was able to secure specifically for Three Village.

"We’re happy to get anything extra," said Jeff Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services, who has said during recent board meetings that the previous estimate used to craft the district's proposed budget would likely be increased when the state budget was finalized.

Englebright said in an interview Monday that he was able to land the grant for Three Village by appealing to the leadership of the Assembly.

"Three Village, I pointed out, was having a significant differential in the negative direction relative to last year’s budget," he said. "I was fortunate to receive an affirmative response. ... After the addition, it should put them on par with the other districts, and that’s important this year."

The district received about $36 million in state aid last year. This year's initial state aid projection had Three Village losing about $853,000 from that amount, according to data presented at the Feb. 14 school board meeting.

Now, Carlson said, it's up to the school board to decide how that extra $389,000 should be used.

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The administration is expected to recommend using $200,000 of that amount as revenue to lower the tax levy increase while using the remainder to restore some teaching positions, monitor positions, and programs that were initially on the chopping block. That $200,000 would lower the what's considered the district's likely tax levy increase of 4.5 percent to 4.34 percent.

Of particular concern, Carlson said, is the 30 monitor positions that were slated to be cut. That includes a number of monitors assigned to special education classrooms. They are hourly employees; for each monitor position restored, the district would spend about $15,000.

Whether the new state aid figure would save programs set to be eliminated or reduced – such as , Focus, PM school, or – "has yet to be determined," Carlson said.

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