will receive a projected $489,194 restoration of its $4.6 million total loss in state aid this year, after the state legislature put $272 million of education aid back into Governor Cuomo's budget last week.
This restoration represents just 11 percent of what Farmingdale lost through the Gap Elimination Adjustment, a reduction to the district’s total aid formula that the state imposed to balance the state budget.
At Wednesday night's school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Business Paul Defendini said the district has not yet decided what it will do with the aid restoration.
He explained that the money can be used to restore program reductions that were made in the , can be used to off-set the tax levy or can be saved to mitigate the impact of potential mid-year cuts.
The current budget proposal calls for a 2.96 percent tax levy and represents a $1,075,886 decrease in spending from last year's budget.
The district faces rising costs, like a $4,458,559 increase in employee benefits, while simultaneously being hit with less state aid.
“Employee benefits have gone up significantly and this is what caused us, in large part, to make a lot of the reductions we had to make in this budget,” Defendini said at the original budget proposal presentation on March 23.
Program reductions in the proposal include reducing district staff, combining seventh- and eighth- grade sports teams and offering less after-school clubs at all grade levels. The clubs eliminated would be the ones with the least student interest in September, administrators said.
To help offset the revenue losses and rising expenses, the proposal will use $1,803,251 from the reserves and $5,196,749 from the fund balance - the money left over from last year- a total of $7 million.
Defendini said the district will propose a recommendation of what to do with the restored aid at next Wednesday's .