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Budget Q&A

Q. What are the cost savings due to the closure of the schools during Covid –19?

A. There are cost savings and there are increased costs as well.  Some examples of savings include the following:

  • Substitute salaries
  • Transportation costs for fuel and repairs
  • Athletic officials and fees
  • Energy – Electric and heating
  • Telephone
  • Copy paper

Cost increases include:

  • PPE – face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting supplies
  • Postage and costs for producing absentee ballots

Once the records are closed for the fiscal year ending June 30th, we will have an accurate accounting of the net effect of the savings and increased costs due to Covid 19.  The estimated savings are included in the amount of fund balance that is being appropriated to offset next year’s tax levy increase.

Q. Do we receive aid for the increased expenses for the students and transportation that are driving our increased costs?

A. The district does receive aid for the costs in excess of $42,930 for our students that have severe needs.  The amount of aid is 62%.  We also receive transportation aid after certain deductions, in the amount of 72%.  This aid is received in the year following the expenses, so we will not see an increase for these expenses until 2020-21.

Q. Do we have an itemized list of teachers being reduced and what schools they are being taken out of?

A. The district has a list of current retirements and their positions, however we do not have the finalized list since we are offering an incentive and will have these positions sometime after June 15th based on new retirements. 

Q. How does this affect our teacher to student ratio?

A. We cannot answer this until after the total retirements have been accounted for.  In addition, we do not have the final answer due to Covid 19 and what the district will look like if and when we reopen.  The district continues to make its decisions based on what is best for our students and increased class sizes is taken into consideration when making these final decisions.

Q. How do these cuts compare to other districts?

A. There is a varied number of cuts throughout the county as well as the state of New York.  It is all dependent upon each district’s amount of state aid and increased expenses.  We have heard of numbers totaling 30 and as low as 4.  We are fortunate that we have the number of retirements we do, or we would have to sustain cuts in staff as well. 

Q. Will we have a ballot box available for ballots to be dropped off instead of mailing?

A. Yes, the district will have a ballot box available at the high school under the vestibule for voters to drop their ballot in.  This box will be emptied daily and locked up until June 9th at 5:00 pm.

Q. Why is it necessary to hire additional staff if we have declining enrollment?

A. In our first presentation, we talked about how our budget planning began with the desire to add staff in certain areas such as grounds, buildings, and technology.  However, since that time, we have determined that these positions are not necessary and due to Covid-19 and state aid cuts, the district will not be hiring for these positions. 

Q. Will the district be hiring high school/college students for the summer?

A. No, the district will not be hiring any of the students to work this summer. 

Q. How much is budgeted for consultant positions – external and retired staff?

A. The district has not budgeted for any outside consultants for professional development.  We will work to use our in district staff for this purpose.  We did budget $2,500 for consultant work for our data processing and reporting.  Our state aid and some federal funding is based on the district data submitted to NYSED and we receive over $37 million in state funding.  We need to be sure that our data is reported correctly and accurately.