On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, Governor Cuomo released his preliminary budget for education. This budget includes a two year plan to fully restore the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) along with expense based aid increases.  Elwood received $200,682 of the $613,211 being deducted for GEA. The total state aid proposal for Elwood, for the 2016-2017 school year, is $12,955,424. According to the budget proposal available on the NYS Division of Budget website, it appears Elwood’s state aid is decreasing by $12,719 for the upcoming school year. What is not depicted is that Elwood received a one-time aid payment of $464,738 in 2015-2016 school year for full-day kindergarten. This one-time incentive aid payment was expected by the district as a result of reinstating full-day kindergarten, however it creates the impression that our overall aid is going down and we are not receiving the 2% increase other districts are receiving.  When we remove this one-time payment from the equation, Elwood is in fact receiving an increase in aid in the amount of $452,019 or 3.4%. The increase is attributed to the $200,682 from GEA reinstatement and $251,337 in our expense based aid categories.

We encourage the Elwood Community to stay informed on these important issues as they relate to the annual budget.  Please visit the Business Office webpage to see the budget workshop presentation and join us at our next budget workshop on February 11th at 7:30 pm in the Middle School auditorium.