2013-04-03 / Front Page

MSD getting more state aid

Added revenue to help shore up dwindling reserves

 by Michael Scro
Deputy Superintendent of Massapequa Schools Alan Adcock announced that the New York State budget had "settled" and restored all of the high tax aid money in Massapequa. The announcement came during the school board's meeting last week. The district is expecting an increase of slightly over $1 million in state aid for the district next year and an additional $152,000 added to the new budget.

Adcock attributed this to the "efforts of the entire Massapequa community," including the PTA, and reaching out to local government officials.

Adcock explained that the adjustment the district has made from a revenue perspective is to increase state aid by $1,105,000, and by the same token, decrease the number of monies being used from the district's fund balance saving accounts, which were to be used to help close deficits.

"What we're proposing to do is put that into state aid, and reduce the amount of money that we're allocating from our savings accounts in order to help fund our programs," Adcock said. "This will help us over the next three years to meet our obligations under the tax cap."

Adcock said that for this year, the district's fund balance is "hovering around the two-percent range," and the goal is to increase it to the four-percent level, which the district has not seen in a few years.

According to Adcock, the district currently has a AA bond rating with Moody's Investors Services, but that the district hoped to reach a higher rating of Aa1. Having a healthy fund balance is one of the criteria used to determine bond ratings. Higher bond ratings mean lower costs for borrowing.

"Right now we're in a position where you're going to see a number of school districts in a period of fiscal distress for a variety of reasons," Adcock said. "If we can show that we are not one of those districts, and that we're in a much more solid financial position, that could be the catalyst to upgrade our rating."

Adcock explained that the district has originally projected with the 2013-14 budget to use $1.7 million of their fund balance to help with the revenue stream for next year. "Now that we've gotten a million dollars more in state aid, instead of using that $1.7 million from our fund balance, we're going to use about $750,000," Adcock said. "By using less of that fund balance, it will increase the reserves there."

Superintendent of Schools Charles Sulc makes presentation at last week's board meeting.Superintendent of Schools Charles Sulc makes presentation at last week's board meeting.

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