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NEW YORK STATE

Cayuga County-area schools get $9.4M state aid increase in NY budget

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School Buses 1.JPG

Students board buses at the end of the school day at Auburn High School.

The 2022-23 state budget approved last week will increase school aid by more than $9.4 million for nine Cayuga County-area school districts, including Auburn. 

The state budget increases overall school aid by $2.1 billion to $31.5 billion. It's the highest funding level in the state's history, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

For Auburn, Cayuga County's largest school district, state aid will rise from $48,642,409 in 2021-22 to $52,885,484 this fiscal year, an 8.72% increase. A bulk of the increase ($3.3 million) is part of the state's three-year phase-in to fully fund the foundation aid formula. Foundation aid is the main source of state funding for schools. 

Outside of Auburn, Cato-Meridian is the school district that received the largest increase in state aid, an 8.23% hike compared to last year's levels. The northern Cayuga County district will get $16,725,425 in state aid this year, up from $15,453,493 in 2021-22. 

Moravia will also receive a seven-figure increase in aid, from $15,592,667 last year to $16,602,697 in the current fiscal year. 

Two school districts — Jordan-Elbridge and Weedsport — will get 5% more in aid. Weedsport's state aid levels will rise from $10,462,937 to $11,040,821, while J-E's will go from $18,888,683 to $19,878,009. 

Union Springs will receive $11,684,067 in state aid this year, up 4.5% compared to last year's levels ($11,180,538). Southern Cayuga's state aid is increasing 4.36%, from $9,463,246 to $9,875,814. Skaneateles will get $7,216,848 in state aid, up from $6,929,077 in 2021-22 — a 4.15% hike. 

Port Byron will get a small increase (1.02%) in aid, from $15,439,991 to $15,597,103. The district's aid levels have been affected by a resident's hefty lottery win in 2015

Hochul highlighted other education-related components of the budget, including increasing universal prekindergarten funding by $125 million and $100 million for mental health services and other support programs. 

"The opportunity to pursue a quality education is the silver bullet for so many New Yorkers," she said. "With this budget, we are going to unleash the power of higher education to lift up the people of our state by investing in our institutions and our teachers." 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.

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