School aid hike welcome

Some local school officials say they are relieved after finding out the 2013-14 state budget will include increases in school aid.

The budget includes an additional $936.6 million in school aid over the current state budget, state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. The increase is more than $320 million more than what Gov. Andrew Cuomo had proposed.

Gloversville Enlarged School District Superintendent Michael Vanyo said his district will get $215,000 more in aid than the district expected. Gloversville’s state aid will go from $30 million in 2012-13 to $30.7 million in 2013-14, not including building aid.

Vanyo said the increase will help the district with its 2013-14 budget.

“We wish [the aid] was more, but we are grateful we got anything,” Vanyo said.

Vanyo said the aid will help keep the school’s tax-levy increase low and keep programs at their current level.

The Greater Johnstown School District’s aid is scheduled to go from $15.6 million in 2012-13 to $16.6 million in 2013-14, not including building aid.

Greater Johnstown School District Superintendent Robert DeLilli said, “Any increase is appreciated and certainly not shunned; however, the state really needs to make some dramatic changes in how state aid in distributed. It needs to be more equitable.”

Fonda-Fultonville Central School District Interim Superintendent Ray Colucciello said the increase in state aid in his district would benefit the school district. His district’s aid would increase 8.6 percent, not including building aid.

Colucciello said the district previously expected a $600,000 increase in aid, but the state Legislature added $350,000.

Colucciello said the $950,000 may save five layoffs and some program cuts.

“This is good news, especially for those five families,” he said.

Paul G. Williamsen, superintendent for the Mayfield Central School District, said the increase in his district, from $6.8 million in 2012-13 to $7 million in 2013-14, is higher than expected.

The increase will benefit the budget process, according to Williamsen, but he is uncertain what the money will be used for at this point.

Broadalbin-Perth Central School will receive $11.5 million in state aid, an increase of roughly $558,000 from this year, not including building aid.

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said it is too early to tell how this increase would affect the school’s budget.

“At the very least, it will help us stay below our state-imposed tax [cap],” Tomlinson said.