Our proposed 2014-2015 school budget is available for public awareness by clicking on the tab above, labeled 'Board of Education.'
Any questions on the budget can be sent to me by clicking on this link:
'Contact the Superintendent.'
I am happy to answer questions and explain the budget process to any community member. The budget is built by including all contractual increases, energy increases, and supplemental programs. All extraneous spending is cut from the proposed numbers. Then the revenue stream is examined to determine the amount of state aid, the amount of revenue from taxes and how much fund balance should be applied. The budget expenditures and revenue stream must equal. Once a budget has passed voter approval the district may not exceed the total budget expenditures during that school year.
Preparing a budget for the district is similar to your own home. For the budget expenditures you record the maximum you think the expense may be. For income, you record the lowest figure it may be. This gives you room to account for a very cold winter and you need more fuel, if the car needs brakes, or grocery prices go up. This is the same for a school district. Fuel prices, food prices, and contractual salary increases need to be accounted for when preparing the school budget.
The budget document itself can be misleading though due to the movement of staff or services from one budget line to a different line in a subsequent year. This accounts for many of the large percentage increases you may see listed in the document.
With careful planning, student textbooks are going digital. Through grants and funds management, the district has purchased electronic devices for middle and high students for use next year. The e-textbooks are fiscally a better option than the hard textbooks schools have always purchased. Digital materials allow our textbooks to be current in any given year. We are making a profound effort to ensure our students are career and college ready in a digital age.
Included in this budget is a wonderful program for our elementary students. After school enrichment opportunities will allow students to join various activities that will extend the concepts presented in Common Core. Activities may be 5 or 10 weeks in length so students can join more than one activity in a school year. I believe this will be well attended as I often hear the elementary students are looking for more to do after school.
You may know our long-time CSE Chairperson retired mid-year. I have temporarily taken over the position to get through to the end of the school year. We need to fill that position and are reorganizing some of the administrative duties at the same time. The position is a 10 month position that will also enable the administrators to fulfil the added mandates created by New York State over the past three years.
The proposed budget was adopted by the school board on March 17. At that time the board decided to not surpass a 0.5% increase in the tax levy. At 0.5%, the average increase for the yearly school tax a home owner would experience would be $4.44 on a $100,000 home and $1.27 on a $50,000 home. The tax levy is set in August each year.
I welcome your questions. Please attend our school board meetings regularly to learn more not only about our district but how the democratic process works in a school setting.