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Brady projecting flat state aid revenue

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POTSDAM — Potsdam Central School District Superintendent Patrick H. Brady is projecting flat state aid revenue for 2012-13 and said he’ll know more when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo releases his draft budget plan.

The deadline for the governor’s proposal is Jan. 22.

Mr. Brady said the state was looking at a $1 billion budget gap, but “Superstorm Sandy could double that.”

“The state continues to project a 3.5 percent increase,” which would be about $712 million, but that number is expected to drop once the full impact of Sandy is known, Mr. Brady said.

“It is expected that with Superstorm Sandy and lower revenues coming in, that the projected increase would drop to 3 percent,” or $610 million, much of which already is spoken for through reimbursement aid and the governor’s competitive grant program, Mr. Brady said.

The question then turns to equitable distribution of whatever additional money remains.

“The Campaign for Fiscal Equity is considering another lawsuit unless there is more equity brought to funding,” Mr. Brady said. He said the state awards per-pupil aid to every school in the state, regardless of whether the school needs the funds.

“More equitable funding could help schools like Potsdam and others,” he said.

Board of Education member J. Patrick Turbett, who chairs the Finance Committee, said the board is looking at another difficult budget season.

“I would say the budget this year will not be without its challenges,” Mr. Turbett said.

Mr. Brady said the district will continue working on the budget through the Finance Committee as members begin meeting with various administrators and department heads.

“As we get the numbers, we’ll plug them in,” he said.

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