Despite aid boost, more budget pain for New York schools

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - New York school officials say many budgets that will be put before voters May 21 continue the staff and programming reductions of the previous few years.

They say rising pension, health care and other expenses will swallow up state aid increases and rainy-day funds are running dry.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April signed a state budget that includes an increase of nearly $1 billion in school spending for next year, noting that New York's per-pupil spending continues to lead all other states.

The state School Boards Association says pension contribution increases are the biggest single driver of rising expenses, going from nearly 12 percent of a district's payroll in the current school year to more than 16 percent next year.

Most districts are staying within their state-imposed tax cap.

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