District officials met with 98th District Assemblyman Karl Brabenec on Feb. 20 to reinforce the need for Minisink Valley to get its fair share of state aid, as state officials continue to work on finalizing the state’s budget.
This was the third in a series of meetings with state elected officials. Superintendent Brian Monahan and Assistant Superintendent for Business Patrick Witherow recently met with 42nd District State Sen. Jen Metzger and 99th District Assemblyman Colin Schmitt.
Mr. Monahan and Mr. Witherow emphasized the following remain critical issues for the district:
- Extremely preliminary state aid projections show Minisink Valley is slated to receive $42,955,340 in aid for the forthcoming school year. That’s 0.2 percent, or $100,589, less aid than last year. District officials know this will change but stressed how critical it is for Minisink Valley’s state aid to be increased.They reminded him that for two consecutive years, the district has seen flat to negative state aid growth. Negative state aid, coupled with the now permanent tax cap, make it extremely difficult for the district to maintain its program while faced with increasing contractual expenditure obligations.
- Mr. Monahan and Mr. Witherow also reminded the assemblyman that Minisink Valley is short $3,223,930 in Foundation Aid. The district is only funded to 89 percent of its full foundation aid calculation. The Foundation Aid formula generates a dollar amount that is supposed to represent the total need, based on current wealth and demographics.
- They told him Minisink Valley is owed prior year adjustment (PYA) payments totaling $828,323 and needs to move to the top of the payment list.
- Mr. Monahan and Mr. Witherow also asked Assemblyman Brabenec to maximize grant for Minisink Valley, In the past, the grant amounts have been extremely small.
“Assembly Brabenec is committed to helping Minisink Valley and we appreciate his determination to help his Minisink Valley School District constituents,” said Mr. Monahan. “He is working to arrange a meeting with all four of our state representatives so we can continue this important conversation and we are grateful for his help.”
A meeting with 100th District Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther has been scheduled.