Friday, 13 August 2010 00:00
The New York State School Boards Association has serious concerns about the state’s FMAP contingency plan.
In particular, the state is adopting a contingency plan that could result in a mid-year cut of $300 million or more in state school aid, should federal Medicaid funding be reduced. Moreover, the FMAP bill contains a provision allowing the September school aid payment to be delayed until September 30, rather than the first of the month as is the norm. The September aid payment is funded by the lottery, the proceeds of which must be used for education, not the replacement of federal Medicaid payments.
School districts are already dealing with the impact of a $1.4 billion cut in state aid. Adding another $300 million cut on top of this could mean further erosions in educational programs at a time when the State Education Department is raising the criteria for proficiency on state exams.
Payment delays, particularly at the start of the school year, could create further chaos in school districts.
We hope that the United States Senate will take up FMAP tomorrow as scheduled and provide necessary funding to New York State, making the contingency plan unnecessary.