The Late New York Budget Could Hurt Local School Districts
The New York State budget is nearly three weeks late and that could have negative effects on school districts across the state.
The legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul are at odds over bail reform and housing, among other issues, according to state legislators.
Meanwhile, school budget votes are now less than a month away on May 16th, and experts say it’s important that the state budget is complete before school district’s put their budgets up for a vote.
Assemblyman Brian Miller of New Hartford said it's all up to the downstate Progressives in the majority. "We're doing everything we can in the minority party to get things moving," he said. Meanwhile Senator Joe Griffo of Rome says the budget is being held up because the process is completely wrong. "Issues like bail reform shouldn't be in the budget in the first place," said Griffo.
Dr. Rick Timbs, Executive Director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium, says that he expects that the state budget will be done before the school budget vote on May 16th. However, “it’s likely that they won’t be done before districts present their budgets to the public.”
However, Timbs says “this year it’s not as much of a problem. We know that Foundation Aid will be fully paid, for instance” and districts will receive at least a 3% increase based on last year’s Foundation base. “All in all, the districts should have a good estimate of what they’re looking at.”
None the less, districts have certain milestones they need to meet as part of the budget calendar which makes it important for the state budget to be complete before the school budget comes up for its vote on May 16th.
School districts in New York State are required to present their budget to the public no later than 7 days before the budget hearing (between April 25 and May 2). The budget hearing must be held between 7 and 14 days before the budget vote (May 2 - May 9). The budget notice must be mailed no later than May 10th.