An additional $1 million in financial aid is being appropriated for the Hendrick Hudson Central School District in the FY2023 State Budget. This funding will be combined with the school aid, Foundation aid and Universal Pre-Kindergarten funding the district is slated already to receive.
The district lost $8 million of funding last year from the closure of the Indian Point Nuclear Facility in Buchanan, NY, and although the State Legislature and Governor Hochul increased the district aid package considerably in this year’s budget, an immediate gap remained between anticipated revenue (including state aid) and projected costs. The extra $1 million of state funding will prevent staff layoffs and classroom overcrowding.
“We remain strongly committed to helping the entire Hendrick Hudson schools community from the negative impact caused by the loss of tax revenue during the closing and decommissioning of Indian Point,” said New York State Senator Pete Harckham. “The taxpayers in the school district, especially homeowners and small businesses, are facing challenges through no fault of their own, and this infusion of funding will help ensure students here receive the educational opportunities that they deserve.”
Harckham added that Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins was instrumental in ensuring that the additional funding for the Hendrick Hudson school district was in the FY2023 Sate Budget, and said, “Her tireless support for education in New York is unparalleled.”
Hendrick Hudson Central School District Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter said, “Senator Harckham has been a tremendous partner, advocate, and supporter of the Hendrick Hudson School District community. We are in regular communication regarding Indian Point-related initiatives and work well together to advance our interests regarding additional funding, as well as increased safety and security measures as the plant enters decommissioning. Thanks to Senator Harckham and his colleagues in the Legislature, we have secured over $60 million in cessation funding. The additional $1 million in the state’s current budget will help mitigate tax increases by providing significant tax relief to all of Hendrick Hudson’s taxpayers.”
With the Indian Point PILOT agreement with the Hendrick Hudson Central School District decreasing over the next number of years, the New York State Department of Education and Office of the Budget have confirmed that state aid to the district will increase nearly four-fold in the coming years.
For FY2023, the Hendrick Hudson district is receiving $9.1 million in school aid (21% increase from FY2022), $6.08 million in Foundation Aid (a 24.5% increase) and $394,000 for universal pre-kindergarten slots (a 114.7% increase).
The increase in aid, though, typically takes at least two full fiscal years to be delivered to the school district—in essence, a two-year lag period.
Earlier this year, the State Legislature passed a bill (S.7671 / A.8427) Harckham and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef introduced to add the spent nuclear fuel rods to the property to be taxed at Indian Point. (Their bill adding the nuclear pools and dry casks to the tax rolls was signed into law in 2021.)
[Photo: Sen. Harckham with Hendrick Hudson Central School District Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter. Credit: Office of State Sen. Pete Harckham / Tom Staudter]