Thursday, December 18, 2008

NY Budget Hits Saranac Lake School District

Governor Patterson's proposed NY state budget appears to be hitting the Saranac Lake school district very hard. The governor's proposal would result in a decrease in State aid of almost one million dollars to the Saranac Lake school district.
"Like our Superintendent Gerry Goldman said, this amount of money is not going to be made up by curtailing field trips and turning off the lights," Kilroy said.
This is exactly right. Unfortunately, the hit could have been lessened if the school board had insisted on a higher health insurance contribution in the recently approved teachers contract.
In a concession to the district, employees' contributions toward their health plans have increased. A single plan will rise from $150 a year to $375. A family plan will increase from $250 to $750.
There is a concession for you....contributing 35-42 dollars a month for health insurance. That's a contribution of about 6-8% tops. Most employees I'm aware of are contributing far more than 15-20% for their healthcare. What if the employees has been asked to contribute 15-20%? How much savings would the District and taxpayers have seen then?

Yes, the hit from the State is a big one. Maybe even an unfair one. But demanding a larger contribution from district employees for their healthcare would lessened the hit dramatically.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Given that health care and education represent over half of state expenditures, there's no way a fair budget could be devised without hitting these two sectors. You're not going to balance the budget solely by taxing Mt Dew drinkers.