By the Numbers: School aid cuts as suggested in proposed state budget
If Gov. David Paterson's proposed state budget were to be passed as is tomorrow, Genesee County school aid would be looking at a loss of about $3.3 million compared with this past year's aid.
As for specific school districts within the county, here's the breakdown (based on proposed aid levels for the 2009-10 school year as compared with the current 2008-09 year):
• Alexander: A loss of $541,112, or 5.78 percent.
• Batavia: A loss of $637,011, or 3.14 percent.
• Byron-Bergen: A loss of $338,474, or 3.37 percent.
• Elba: A loss of $160,084, or 3.06 percent.
• Le Roy: A loss of $586,993, or 5.64 percent.
• Oakfield-Alabama: A loss of $372,623, or 3.57 percent.
• Pavilion: A loss of $163,353, or 1.88 percent.
• Pembroke: A loss of $537,260, or 5.01 percent.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Schumer has teamed up with Paterson to seek federal block grants to help offset the cuts to school aid. Nothing specific is yet worked out on that. From Schumer's Web site:
There are various approaches that Congress can use to deliver these critical funds to students and schools. U.S. Senate and House Leadership are consulting with the President's team to determine the best, most effective way to provide schools with the targeted resources necessary to maintain jobs and academic programs. Congress is considering using existing federal education funding formulas, such as the one used for Title I, No Child Left Behind funding, to determine the amount each state will receive in block grants. Schumer said it is essential that the block grants are distributed in a way that gives states and districts the flexibility and tools they need to keep serving our children.
What do you think? Is shifting the burden from the state to the Fed to cover these deficits the best move? No matter where the "billions" Schumer quotes so frequently with such bravado come from, don't they, in the end, come from our pockets. But what other choice do we have? Should the schools suck it up and try to face the cuts? How can they?