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F-M to host February budget forums

— Fayetteville-Manlius School District officials will host two community budget forums Tuesday, Feb. 7, to discuss the challenges facing the district as it develops the 2012-13 school budget.

The first will be held at 1 p.m. at Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Avenue; the second is slated for 6 p.m. at Eagle Hill Middle School, 4645 Enders Road.

On Jan. 17, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his executive budget proposal, which included an $805 million increase to New York State school aid. Despite that proposed increase, if the Legislature approves the governor’s budget, the F-M school district would actually receive a decrease of $929,443, or 5.36 percent less, in overall state aid compared to the 2011-12 budget.

F-M will also lose $268,373 in anticipated county sales tax dollars in 2012-13 due to a restructuring of the sales tax formula. That loss, combined with the state aid figure proposed by the governor, would ultimately leave the district with a revenue shortfall of nearly $1.2 million for 2012-13.

The governor has proposed setting aside about $250 million of the $805 million increase in state aid to schools for “performance grants.” The remaining funds would be distributed to school districts based upon what a district spent the year before on certain reimbursable expenses in areas such as transportation and special education.

Although the aid numbers released by the state show that F-M would receive a state aid increase under the governor’s proposal, when factoring in what the district would receive based on reimbursable expenses from the current school year and the loss of Federal Jobs funds that previously funneled through the state, the district would actually receive $929,443 less in total state aid than it did in 2011-12.

For more budget information, go to the 2012-13 budget section of the F-M website, fmschools.org.

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