State lawmakers negotiated an extra $100 million into the 2013-14 state budget for aid to schools. They said the aid would be focused on high need, low wealth school districts who have been hurt the most by the state’s cuts in aid in the last few years.
But it appears they forgot Central New York’s neediest, poorest district: Hannibal.
Using figures supplied Tuesday night by the office of State Senator Patty Ritchie, schools in Oswego County received increases in aid of from $131,000 to $474,000 above the Governor’s original proposal. Those increases amounted to boosts of between 1% and about 2.3%
Except for Hannibal, which received about $35,000 more, an increase above the Governor’s proposal of just 0.21%.
The extra aid will only help fill a gap created several years ago by the state, when it created the Gap Elimination Adjustment. The adjustment amounted to what school officials call a claw-back — it took back a portion of the aid that was appropriated before it could get to the school.
This year’s Gap Elimination Adjustment is smaller than in years past, and state officials say they plan to phase it out as the economy recovers but the lost revenue remains a significant reason why districts are draining their reserve funds to try to prevent more layoffs and program cuts.