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April 18, 2013

Milford Central School holds off on adopting budget

(Continued)

If a budget is voted down, a school has one more chance to present a revised spending plan. If it is unsuccessful twice, then schools have to comply with contingency budget restrictions. 

The board will go over what a contingency budget would look like at its next meeting. 

“That will be a bloodbath because you’re talking about another $200,000 or more that will have to be knocked out of the budget,” Livshin said. “If that were to happen we may have to close the doors.”

Livshin said his school is in a “whole lot of trouble,” and believes rural and small city schools have been short-changed for years on state aid. He said money continues to flow to rich districts.

In the last four year, MCS has lost about 1.72 million in aid because of the gap elimination adjustment. The GEA is a reduction in school aid by the state to reduce the state deficit.

“We are not alone,” Livshin said. “Some of our neighboring districts have lost less and some have lost more.

“Yes, we went through a recession and there was no money there, but the state continues to use the gap elimination adjustment as a hammer and it hammers us,” Livshin continued. 

Since the state budget passed, MCS has learned it will get close to $223,000 in gap elimination adjustment. However the district treasurer, Linda Wenz, said that still leaves nearly $295,000 that the district could really use. 

“It’s a mess,” Livshin said. “The funding in New York state is not equitable in any way, shape or form. It is becoming the more haves versus have-nots. This is not a downstate versus upstate issue. It is a rich versus poor issue because there were some districts in Long Island that lost a good portion of their aid and there are district in Westchester County such at Mount Vernon that are high-poverty districts as well.”

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