CHENANGO COUNTY – Several area school superintendents say they’re pleased so far with the potential increases in state aid their districts could receive next year based on figures released Tuesday in Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s executive budget.
Some admit, however, there are concerns with a few of the governor’s proposals, particularly a $31 million cut in statewide BOCES funding that could possibly force districts to pay more of their own share to be in that program.
Spitzer is calling for a $1.46 million increase in education spending for 2008-09. The increase is part of a four-year, $7 billion rise in public school spending first implemented in 2007-08.
Right now, the Norwich City School District is slated to see a $5.46 million bump, the biggest countywide, which translates into a 26.57 percent increase over last year. The majority of that funding, $4.49 million, is tied up in a building project.
“We’re very appreciative ... it’s obvious the governor is making a commitment to education, which will be the engine that drives our economy in the future,” said Norwich Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan. “We’re also cautious. We want to see all the details of the proposal. It’s a broad picture and the devil is in the details. So we now sit patiently to see and hear more.”