Sewanhaka state aid decreases from initial projection: administration

Sewanhaka state aid decreases from initial projection: administration
Sewanhaka High School, as seen in Floral Park. (Photo courtesy of Future Engineers)

Sewanhaka Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Kevin O’Brien said Wednesday the district will receive less in state aid under the recently approved state budget than under Gov. Kathy Hochul’s initial proposal.

O’Brien said Sewanhaka will receive $72,752,794 in state aid in 2024-25m a budget-to-budget increase of $1,152,314. Foundation aid makes up $54,601,737 of the total.

Under Hochul’s initial proposal, the district would have received $72,925,547 in state aid a $1,325,000 increase, O’Brien said.

In the 2023-24 school, the district received an increase of more than $13 million.

Administrators have made slight changes to the budget to cover the decrease in projected aid, including increased allocation from the fund balance and reserves, O’Brien said.

“We’ve increased both of those for next year’s budget due to the lesser increase in state aid and to balance the budget,” he said.

The district in 2024-25 has allocated $6,152,402 in fund balance monies and $4,559,187 in applied reserves.

The state Legislature adopted the 2024-2025 $237 billion state budget nearly three weeks late in April.

The budget included an additional $1.3 billion in school aid and the restoration of the foundation aid Hold Harmless policy, which ensures schools’ foundation aid does not decrease from the year before.

The budget adoption came after months of pushback from school administrators.

Many districts across North Shore Nassau County lamented the eradication of Hold Harmless, saying the change in aid and high insurance and pension costs produced tight budgets with higher tax levies.

The proposed 2024-2025 Sewanhaka budget is $255,707,308 with a 2.47% tax levy increase. This budget represents a budget-to-budget increase of $11,015,856 or 4.5%. The 2023-2024 budget was $244,691,452.

The proposed tax levy is $166,242,000. The 2023-2024 tax levy was $162,234,358.

Residents can vote on the budget on May 21. The next board meeting is May 28.

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