Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) joined North Rockland Central School District leaders and local officials to announce, for the second year in a row, special state aid of $1 million to offset the effects of the Mirant debt crisis on local property owners. The legislators also announced a total increase of $14.6 million in state school funding over last year for North Rockland, resulting in a 0% increase in school property taxes for local homeowners.
These two key provisions from the recently enacted state budget will provide substantial relief to local families while improving educational outcomes and holding the line on property taxes for the year ahead. North Rockland will receive a total of $67.22 million in core school aid this year, a 28% increase over last, which will enhance classroom instruction and support educators and students alike. The school district will also receive special funding to create 45 first-ever universal pre-kindergarten seats in addition to their existing capacity.
“When Assemblyman Zebrowski and I teamed up to take on the Mirant debt crisis, we knew it couldn’t just be a one-time fix,” said Senator Skoufis. “This annual property tax relief, paired with a historic boost in state school aid and pre-k funding, is an enormous win for our schools and taxpayers. I’ll continue to fight for increased funding for North Rockland in the years ahead.”
“Since the Mirant debt crisis, Senator Skoufis and I have continually fought for funding for the North Rockland School District to reduce the burden on taxpayers who have been impacted by the tax certiorari,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski. “This year’s funding delivers for students, and with the inclusion of universal pre-k seats will ensure that our children have a solid foundation for their educational future. I look forward to continuing to work with our local officials and my colleagues in the State Legislature to provide needed tax relief to North Rockland residents in the years ahead.”
North Rockland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kris Felicello said: “We are grateful to Senator Skoufis and Assemblyman Zebrowski for following through on their commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid by 2023-24. Our district currently receives about 64% of our full Foundation Aid funding, representing a gap of more than $29 million. The state’s budget for next school year makes up a little more than half of that gap, providing the district with a more than $14 million increase. We also thank Senator Skoufis and Assembly Member Zebrowski for – again – delivering $1 million in special tax certiorari aid. This support will go a long way to easing the district’s ongoing Mirant debt and associated tax burden. With this additional state funding, our 2022-23 proposed budget advances NRCSD’s mission to prepare our students for their futures, while protecting the community’s investment in our schools, and honoring our fiscal responsibility to taxpayers.”
Town of Haverstraw Supervisor Howard T. Phillips said: “On behalf of local taxpayers, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for all the work Senator Skoufis and Assemblyman Zebrowski continue to do to deliver for our families and the North Rockland Central School District. This special certiorari funding for a second year in a row and major boost to state school aid are big wins for our communities.”
Village of West Haverstraw Mayor Robert D’Amelio said: “I’d like to thank Senator Skoufis and Assemblyman Zebrowski for their unwavering support and dedication to the North Rockland School District. The aid they have secured is crucial to the taxpayers in North Rockland who are still facing financial hardships from the tax certiorari.”
Town of Stony Point Supervisor Jim Monaghan said: “On behalf of the Town of Stony Point I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to State Senator Skoufis, who always works hard to protect and secure funding for our school district.”