Bloomberg News

New York’s Poorest Schools Get Boost From Budget, Moody’s Says

April 02, 2012

New York (STONY1:US) poorest schools will get a boost from the $132.6 billion state budget passed last week as education aid grows by 4 percent and districts work to stay below the 2 percent tax cap, Moody’s Investors Service said.

The state deems about one-third of its 676 school districts to be “high-need,” including the five biggest cities -- New York, Buffalo, (9638MF:US)Rochester (8387MF:US), Syracuse (28446MF:US) and Yonkers (8332MF:US) -- Moody’s said in a report today. Those systems will collectively receive almost half of the $805 million increase in school aid provided for in the fiscal 2013 budget, Moody’s said.

“The budget’s passage is credit positive for less-affluent school districts struggling to overcome constraints caused by the state’s new 2 percent cap on annual increases in property tax levies,” Moody’s said in the report.

The property-tax cap, approved by lawmakers in June, went into effect Jan. 1. Most school districts in New York are currently developing their budgets for the next fiscal year and will submit them for voter approval as early as May.

About half of the aid increase is for general operations, and 76 percent of that will go to schools in need, which the state defines as those with high rates of poverty relative to the district’s wealth, the report said.

Under the fiscal 2013 budget, New York City will receive $292.1 million more than last year, raising its total aid to $7.9 billion, Moody’s said. The state fiscal year began April 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Freeman Klopott in Albany, New York, at fklopott@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net


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