On Monday, March 2, district officials presented the overview and context for the 2020-21 budget process at the Budget Committee’s first meeting of the year. Below are highlights from the meeting:
- Superintendent Corr started the presentation by sharing the district’s mission statement and emphasized key pieces including “all students are provided the opportunity” and “academic and social growth and development.” He added that the biggest single factor when determining student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Mr. Corr also talked about the three pillars that go into educating the whole student: equity, social-emotional health, and academic excellence.
- North Colonie Central School District is considered a low needs district by New York state. 75.7% of our revenue comes from property taxes and 18.9% comes from state aid. 5.4% comes from fund balance, reserves and miscellaneous revenues.
- Assistant Superintendent for Business Scott Hoot spoke about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the NYS School Funding Transparency. Both laws require schools to report expenditures and budgets by building, and funding can be withheld for failure to comply with the respective regulations.
- Assistant Superintendent Hoot also talked about the governor’s proposed Executive Budget, which increases aid to K-12 education by a total of $825.7M or 2.98%. In total, the district is projected to get about $638,000 more in state aid through the governor’s proposed Executive Budget. That number could increase or decrease as the budget process moves forward.
- Mr. Hoot shared that the district’s preliminary tax cap for the 2020-21 budget is 2.61%
- Mr. Corr said as district, we face a challenge and questioned “how do we close future and present budget gaps? The options include:
- Use attrition gained through retirement to consolidate or not fill positions
- Consider a redesign of existing programs to accomplish long term structural savings
- Reconsider upcoming and future plans to re-imagine previous ideas and challenge previous assumptions or;
- Seek additional revenue sources.
The New York state budget is due April 1 and once that happens, the district will have a better outlook on how it will be impacted.
The next Budget Committee meeting will be on March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Central Office Curriculum and Instruction Workroom. All Budget Committee meetings will be live streamed on YouTube and links to the live stream are sent out to district families and community members via School Messenger the day of the meeting.