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Lakeland to Receive More State Aid Than Expected

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — With budget season looming around the corner, Lakeland school officials said they were pleased to see the amount of state aid they can expect to receive in the next year is higher than last year and higher than anticipated.

The actual increase Lakeland schools will be receiving in aid is 2.5 percent higher than last year, which equates to about an $800,000 extra in state aid that the school district did not expect, according to Superintendent George Stone.

“This is higher than our initial projections, where we had not figured in state aid and we initially projected a need to decrease next year’s budget by $1.85 million, which we can round down now to about $1 million,” Stone said at Thursday’s board of education meeting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced state aid granted to New York school districts this week, with Lakeland reportedly being given $23,840,84.

At the first budget meeting for the year, Stone previously announced the district would keep its budget the same as last year . This meant the district would need to find $1.85 million to make up since it could not round up that money in the tax levy under the 2 percent tax cap. Now, with the updated state aid numbers, the amount of money the school needs to find or cut is down to $1 million.

“Prior to our next work session I will present some areas that we have on the list to consider for potential reductions,” Stone said, regarding the ways to still make up that $1 million.

The superintendent explained after the meeting that the schools have little say in asking how much money they can get from the state, it’s all based on a formula by the state.

“They use a formula and the formulas based upon your relative wealth or lack of wealth, and there’s a number that is like a baseline, and I believe that by formula we slipped slightly below, so I think that’s what helped increase state aid,” Stone said.

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