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School Districts want state budget surplus
EAST GREENBUSH-- If there is a budget surplus in 2013 school districts say that extra money should go to them.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has hinted at a budget surplus at the end of the 2013 budget cycle. Mr. Cuomo has also said he would use that money to give New Yorker's a tax cut in 2014.
However, the East Greenbush School District is making a case for them, and every other district across the state, to get the money instead of taxpayers. Officials in the district say they are owed the money after losing millions of dollars from the Gap Elimination Adjustment under then Governor David Paterson.
In 2009 Paterson, in an attempt to close a $13.7 billion state budget deficit, scaled back the funding to school districts in order to pay off the deficit.
Since 2010 East Greenbush has lost $16.8 million, officials say.
"Education is our future, it is what is going to support us in the economy, it is what will make our country grow," said Matthew Sloane, Principal at Howard L. Goff Middle School.
Brian Sampson of Unshackle Upstate, a government spending watch group, says any budget surplus should go back to the people who created it.
"If there is money in the budget, and the governor is saying in essence there is a surplus, than that money should be going back to the taxpayers," said Sampson.
New York State has increased state aid by $1.8 billion over the last two years, with part of that money meant to make up for the Gap Elimination Adjustment losses, said a spokesman for Governor Cuomo.
Since 2009 the state budget deficit has decreased from $13.7 billion to around $1 billion.