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New York State Aid Reduction to School Districts

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For the past few months, school districts across the state have been focused on and concerned with the complicated task of reopening our schools safely. Sifting through guidelines and mandates, securing enough PPE and technology, and implementing reopening plans has become the new normal. At a time when schools are being asked to do more and spend more to ensure student and staff safety due to the pandemic, we are now facing a budget crisis that will devastate our district and community.

On August 13, the New York State Division of Budget announced that they would be withholding 20% of school districts’ state aid payments for the 2020-21 school year.  Without federal support to offset the loss of state funding, this withholding could turn into a permanent reduction which will lead to a loss of programming and personnel.

What does a 20% Reduction in State Aid mean for KCSD? 

  • KCSD is a high-need Small City School District that relies heavily on state aid to offer the services and programs we provide for our students and families
  • State Aid represents 43% of KCSD’s total budget
  • A State Aid cut of 20% equals approximately $14,000,000 for our district
  • A reduction of this size will have a major impact on our ability to offer programs and courses to our students
  • The required safety procedures dictated by the State Education Department and NYSDOH are not optional and they come with a price tag. PPE, more cleaning supplies, increased transportation cost due to the limited number of students allowed on buses, increased staff to ensure small class sizes and social distancing and increased support staff to assist in temperature checks and adherence to requirements for open spaces.
  • The district has spent $55,000 to date on PPE and has $670,000 budgeted for more throughout the school year
  • School districts have already had state aid cut at the end of the 2019-20 school year due to the state’s Pandemic Adjustment. KCSD’s loss was $1.1 million

A budget decrease of this magnitude would certainly mean layoffs for KCSD staff and faculty, something our students cannot afford.  Over the next few weeks, we will not only be tackling the task of providing remote education and preparing for in-person instruction, but we will also be making decisions about what we have to eliminate due to the threat of massive reductions in aid to our schools. 

We encourage you to reach out to your Local, State and Federal Elected officials and urge them to do whatever they can to help before it is too late for our students. 

NY State Assemblymember Kevin Cahill

Governor Clinton Bldg. Suite G-4
1 Albany Ave
Kingston, NY 12401

NY State Senator George Amedore, Jr

188 State St., Legislative Office Building
Room 408
Albany, NY 12247

NY State Senator Jen Metzger

198 State St. Legislative Office Building
Room 817
Albany, NY 12247

US Representative Antonio Delgado

256 Clinton Ave.
Kingston, NY 12401

US Senator Chuck Schumer

Leo O'Brien Building, Room 420
Albany, NY 12207

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Leo W. O’Brien Federal Office Building
11A Clinton Ave, Room 821
Albany, NY 12207

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State

NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224