Analysis of the 2013-14 Executive Budget Proposal
- The use of the $265 million of expense driven aids and the
distribution of $290 million of the high needs GEA reduction ($555 M
total) will help needy school districts only partially ameliorate
the impact of continuous state aid cuts on their budgets and tax
- The $555 million of expense driven aids and the GEA reduction
results in an average of only a 2.8% increase in state aid support
to school districts; as opposed to the claim of a 4.1% increase
cited in the Executive Proposal.
- Further, the $555 million represents only 68.8% of the promised
$805 million of new aid to school districts.
- The Executive budget has allocated $250 million of new funding
for a Performance Grants program in FY 2012-13. This is problematic
- The grants were originally supposed to be applied for and
awarded in the 2011-12 school fiscal year based on the state FY
budget for 2011-12. Thus, all funds for the grants should have
been budgeted in the 2011-12 state FY.
- While the focus on improved performance is commendable, not
a single grant has yet been awarded, initiated, or evaluated to
assess its relative efficacy, the need for revision of grant
eligibility, application, award, goal setting, and metrics of
results processes or standards.
- Until such issues are resolved the withholding of $250
million in state support for school district mechanisms is
counterproductive to the continuance of efforts by all school
districts to improve student performance. The allocation of $250
million for a Performance Grants program therefore appears to be
premature and arbitrary.
- Due to the anticipated $7 Billion loss of state support to
school districts through GEA cuts of state aid since the 2010-11
school year, it is critical that funds be reallocated from the
proposed $250 million for Performance Grants and the $203 million
for “Fiscal Stabilization Funding” to a distribution of funds on an
equitable basis to school districts. These funds are critically
needed to offset the rapid and consistent escalation of state
mandates, labor, medical and pension costs. This is especially
critical as the new Tax Levy Cap law takes effect.