Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brief State Aid Analysis

As frequent readers of this blog, I do not want to punish you with the gripping details about State Aid formulas, categories, and itemizations. I value my readers and want you to keep reading. Therefore, I am going to give you the quick overview of what the Governor's budget proposal means for West Genesee.

The Governor included a State Aid increase totaling a 2.9% increase over last year.  He also included a one-time increase in aid for full-day kindergarten which we are starting this fall.  The two aids put together total a 9% increase which is what was reported by local media.

The 2.9% increase in state aid is 2.9% more than we thought we would get entering the budget development process.  This will be helpful for us because our state pension and health insurance costs alone represent a 3.34% increase all by themselves.

The additional aid will allow us to maintain existing programs while keeping the tax levy well under the tax cap for West Genesee.  Have I kept this easy enough to understand so far?

My comment about the budget proposal overall is that I think it is fair considering we have had very large budget gaps to close the past couple of years and the area unemployment is at 8.5%. You will not hear me say anything negative about the Governor's aid proposal.  In a perfect world, he would work to allow the State Aid formulas to flow the way that they used to, but I have come to the realization that this is not a perfect world. Maybe someday.

We have been working with a financial plan that we created three years ago and it is right on track. This would not be possible without the support of our staff and community and I am very appreciative.

Thanks and stay warm!