50 LI school districts could lose state aid under Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal
In a new proposal under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 50 Long Island school districts could be losing state aid.
Valley Stream Central, Bayport-Blue Point, Patchogue-Medford, Connetquot and Smithtown could lose more than $1 million each under the proposal.
"The problem is, we need more services, not less, for our children. More services to address the potential academic slide. More services to affect the state of their minds, their social emotional needs," said Patchogue-Medford Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Jones.
Administrators and advocates say while there's never a good time to take money away from local school districts, this might be the worst time to do it - in the middle of a health and economic crisis when so many children and families are struggling.
State legislators warn that while doling out more money to districts is a top priority, the state is facing a $15 billion deficit.
"They're cutting almost every level, but you see how deep they are with schools because it hits home. So we definitely have a lot of work to do and a large part of that is going to be getting help from Washington. Getting federal funding will really do a lot to plug that hole," said state Sen. Todd Kaminsky.
The governor's proposed budget will be voted on April 1.
The potential aid reductions are driven by a state budget crunch, only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
News 12 reached out to the state to get more specifics regarding state aid for Long Island schools districts but has not heard back.