GANANDA, N.Y. (WROC) — School districts across the state will be receiving a combined $29.5 billion allocated in the state budget. This is $3 billion more compared to the 2020-21 school year.

$19.8 billion is in foundation aid which is a $1.4 billion increase from last year.

Shawn VanScoy, superintendent of schools in Gananda, said he wasn’t expecting this additional money from the state and because of it, he won’t have to make cuts next year.

He said Gananda will be receiving an additional $300,000 in foundation aid.

“We’ve been waiting for the dark clouds and storm and lightning and all of a sudden the sun came out yesterday on April 6. This was unexpected, we did not expect to have this kind of a positive result of a budget in our school district,” VanScoy said.

The foundation aid formula determines how much money each district receives per student based on income, poverty, and overall wealth in each district. VanScoy said it’s been frozen for around 10 years and he’s been waiting for this increase.

“We were preparing to do some adjustments to staffing and other areas of cuts so we won’t have to do those for next year,” he said.

Assembly member Harry Bronson said in addition, districts will be reimbursed for federal COVID-19 funds used by the state last year.

“For instance the RCSD, that dollar amount is $29 million, so they’re gonna get, in addition to the increases this year, they’re gonna get reimbursed,” Bronson said.

He also said there’s a line in the education budget dedicated to bridging the digital divide in schools.

“Unfortunately for students who are in lower income areas, in the urban setting this has disproportionately impacted them,” he said. “We’ve got to get these students caught up to where they were.”

The budget allocates money to expand universal pre-kindergarten across the state.