Back of the Envelope

I’m crunched for time today but I wanted to get some numbers out given Paterson’s budget cuts specifically to state aid for school districts. Here are some facts and figures and rough analysis (caveat emptor).

For the Amsterdam school district overall, the 2008-2009 budget (here)
was $52.9 million. Of that, $17.3 million was property tax levy.

Per the Gazette today (here), the proposed reduction in school aid to the Amsterdam school district will be : $718 thousand.

The Greater Amsterdam School District is facing a $718,000 cut under the governor’s proposal. Aid would go from $29.88 million to $29.16 million.

So to make up the shortfall of $718K, the baseline tax levy would be on the order of 4.15% on taxpayers. Again this is a baseline figure with no adjustments for use of fund reserves, no adjustments for increases in salaries/benefits, no adjustments for budget cuts and no adjustments for the underlying property assessments.

Speaking of budget cuts, let me be the first to advocate closing an elementary school as a way–the only way– to close the budget gap. I’m sure we can dust off the Consolidation report to make a strong financial and academic case to do so.

Finally, as an advocate for the Walter Elwood Museum, I envision a difficult challenge, not insurmountable as of yet, to garner monies to support the museum or to prevent the sale of the building in the current and likely economic environment of 2009.

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