On Friday, West Islip Superintendent Rick Simon expressed his displeasure regarding Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal that will give the in state aid for the 2012-13 budget.
"I was disappointed," he said. "I’m disappointed in that the governor's budget is supposed to provide districts with four percent increase in aid. Our increase was 1.57 percent. And even some of that is what we call aid that is not guaranteed, only a part of that is guaranteed.
"It’s very hard to get the clarity from the state as to why one district let's say gets a 10 percent increase, and another minus two percent. I felt that all the pressures that West Islip is facing financially, it was a very disappointing result from the state. For us, it’s not significant at all as an increase."
Simon also pointed out another hole in the state aid, and that's additional mandates the district is learning about; particularly in special education.
"We’re learning that there are fees that in the past were paid for by the county or the state that are being significantly increased for us and for all districts, and they’re not giving it very much publicity," he said. "And it affects only a few students but the dollars are pretty significant."
Simon explained how the district pays a certain percent of residency costs for the few students that are placed at residential schools. He said the costs are "very expensive" and have now nearly doubled, which results in "hundreds of thousands of dollars" the district will have to owe.
"Those are the kinds of things you have no control over, you just got to memo from the state or the county," he said. "I’m not very happy, I think it’s a little bit of a game."