Gov. Hochul's proposed 2024-25 school budget already raising red flags in Westchester
While Gov. Kathy Hochul's $233 billion budget for next year is only a proposal, it's already a cause for concern for some in Westchester County, says Karen Belanger, of the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association.
Under the new budget proposal, 21 school districts in Westchester would see more funding, but 19 would see less.
"I would be very concerned about what programs might have to be cut, I would also be very concerned presumably the other option would be to look at a tax-cap override," said Belanger.
That would put the onus on local taxpayers to make up for the decrease in funding.
The most dramatic difference would be in the Bedford Central School District. Its funding would be cut by $1,123,976.
"Are you going to have to get rid of your coach for varsity, junior varsity, and intermediate school sports?" said state Sen. Shelley Mayer, the chair of the education committee. "We believe these are essential parts of education, too."
Tough decisions would need to be made, but Belanger says most school districts would make sure the loss of aid has no effect on what goes on inside the classrooms
Sen. Mayer says these proposed changes are unacceptable and don't make sense.
"My job is to fight against this and to find some additional resources and to explain to the governor's office, this is not the effective way to reach the result the governor is trying to reach," she said.
By law, a state budget must be adopted by April 1.