Cortland school district reminds residents their budget vote will be done by absentee only this year, along with that of all others in the state under direction by Governor Cuomo.
The proposal reflects a 1.2% budget increase and a 1.09% tax levy increase – the first time those figures have gone up in five years.
It’s also the first budget in nearly a decade that couldn’t be balanced using district reserve funds, which have dwindled.
“It was a challenge to develop a budget with such a small increase due to the increasing costs in health care, contractual obligation, and legacy costs,” said district officials in a press release. “The Board had to make difficult decisions to reduce expenses by $1.76M.”
Of that total, officials said $764,171 was due to not using reserves.
Instructional, support staff, and administrative vacancies were not filled unless they were deemed absolutely necessary. Supplies and equipment purchases were trimmed.
“As always, the Board kept the focus on student needs first along with planning for the future. We made every attempt to preserve opportunities for students,” said the district.
Over 80% of the $50,170,001 proposed budget is allocated to instruction and benefits.
Transportation and facilities maintenance make up an additional 17%, with both of these highly aidable and lucrative in terms of revenue to assist with expenses.
Under 3% of the budget is allocated toward district support expenses.
Voting will be done by absentee ballot, only. All ballots must be received at the Kaufman Center, 1 Valley View Drive, by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2020.
Under the Governor’s emergency provisions, there is no revote on a budget that is not approved. In that case, the Board may have to adopt a contingent budget which means further reductions in the budget.
Also under a contingent budget, the District would have to charge all community partners for any use of its building.
Also included within that vote is a proposition on moving to the next step of the Parker project.
WXHC recently spoke with members of the special task force overseeing the process of transitioning the former elementary school into an early education childhood center used by CAPCO and the YWCA.
Listen to that interview HERE.