Middletown schools among those who see cuts in proposed school funding formula
Yesterday we told you about one shore district who would benefit form the proposed school funding formula, today another weighs in, but with concerns over losing funding for the upcoming school year...in Middletown.
The Middletown School District would lose $1,179,200.00 in state aid from their budget which totals about $160,000,000.00.
Superintendent Bill George says unfortunately getting state aid taken away is nothing new to the district.
"There have been a series of recent cuts starting in 2009-10 where we lost more than $7,000,000.00 at that point," said George.
He says since 2010, Middletown has seen only 57-percent of the aid reduction restored but if the new proposal passes, it'll be a step backwards.
"If this cut holds we will be funded at only 40-percent of the cuts from prior to 2009-10," said George.
While just over one-point-one million in cuts may not seem like much with the budget size they have, George says it is enough to cause some concern.
He doesn't predict any major cuts should this formula pass, but it won't be easy.
"We have to very closely monitor everything that we do," said George.
He adds they'll also have to look at how they fund projects within their 17-schools in the district and that's where things could get tight.
"We have schools that were built in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's and the newest only in the 1970's," said George. "The continuous maintenance that has to occur at those schools will have to be cut back."
He explains that their 'Plan-B' for the upcoming school year is still being developed.
"The scenarios that we are considering do not fully shut down programs or put us in a situation where we would not re-hire staff for next year," said George.
The proposed cuts would effect how they implement programs, he adds, but not completely cut them.
In the end, George asserts that he's not against fair share funding for schools but not at the expense of districts who'll lose money.
"We think that there should be a fair current formula that represents all the indicators for communities like Middletown to be treated fairly," said George.
He says taxpayers in Middletown would also feel the sting of these cuts as well with property taxes funding 87-percent of the school budget.
"Before Middletown’s state aid was reduced in 2009-2010, property taxes funded 82.8% of the school budget," said George. "In 2017-2018, that percentage is now 87.3%. The proposed state aid reduction for 2017-2018 will have no impact on property taxes for this budget year since the budget is already finalized and adopted."
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