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How The State Budget Impacts East End Schools

Nicole Barylski

Locally, the final State budget will have a positive impact on all the schools located in the 1st Assembly District. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

The 2017 State budget will deliver a $1.1 billion increase in state aid to education, with over $4 million being allocated locally. The budget also includes a $700 million increase in Foundation Aid.

Overall, the State budget will provide a total of $25.8 billion in state aid for the State's more than 700 school districts. This marks a significant increase in the originally proposed $913 million increase in state aid with an increase of $428 million in Foundation Aid.

"The final budget demonstrates the Legislature's continuing commitment to education," said State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. "Education Aid increased by a greater percentage than any other portion of the State Budget. These additional aid dollars will assist school districts in complying with the property tax cap."

Locally, the final State budget will have a positive impact on all the schools located in the 1st Assembly District. The state aid will increase by $100,673 for East Hampton (+ 3.18 percent), $2,842 for Amagansett (+ 0.76 percent), $65,166 for Springs (+ 3.86 percent), $3,194 for Sag Harbor (+ 0.17 percent), $35,149 for Montauk (+ 4.21 percent), $2,901,748 for Riverhead (+ 10.67 percent), $34,157 for Shelter Island (+ 5.97 percent), $24,273 for Remsenburg/Speonk (+ 4.33 percent), $92,747 for Westhampton Beach (+ 3.95 percent), $20,703 for Quogue (+ 6.52 percent), $241,743 for Hampton Bays (+ 4.38 percent), $156,305 for Southampton (+ 5.75 percent), $34,452 for Bridgehampton (+ 4.85 percent), $880,282 for Eastport/S.Manor (+ 2.47 percent), $27,405 for Tuckahoe (+ 2.68 percent), and $12,274 for East Quogue (+ 1.04 percent).

Additionally, $5 million will be allotted to the Stony Brook-Southampton Campus to renovate existing buildings to create new academic space. The SUNY capital plan also includes $2 million in state funds for the Health and Sports Center at the Eastern Campus of Suffolk County Community College (SCCC).

"Both Suffolk County Community College and Stony Brook-Southampton are a critical part of higher education on the East End. After floundering for years due to lack of funds during the Great Recession, Southampton has now rebounded from nearly closing to become a recognized center for graduate studies in marine science, fine arts, and health sciences," said Assemblyman Thiele. "Nearly 500 students are now studying at the campus with a continuing upward trajectory projected for the future. The $5 million will permit the University to recondition existing space to provide for new programs and increased enrollment."

SCCC's Health and Sports Center will cost approximately $20 million. The project is funded by the state and county on a 50/50 basis, and the additional $2 million will offset unanticipated increases in cost of the facility reflected in the bidding process.

"The Health and Sports Center at the Eastern Campus of SCCC has been on the drawing board for more than two decades. Not only will this Center enhance the experience of SCCC college students, but it will also be a resource for the entire community, particularly the swimming pool which has long been a dream for East End residents," added Assemblyman Thiele. "The cooperation of the County was essential under a tight state budget timeline. I want to thank County Legislator Bridget Fleming for her role in securing the 50 percent county share of additional funds which were needed before the State could act. Of course, the role of my partner, State Senator Ken LaValle, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, was critical to success on the state level."

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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