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Skaneateles School District
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Message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Bryant:
(For the full communication, please see the letter in the downloads section at the bottom of this page)

April 7, 2020

To: All Skaneateles Faculty, Staff and Community Members,


BUDGET VOTE AND BOARD ELECTIONS

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.13 postpones our scheduled May 19th Budget Vote and Board of Education elections until at least June 1st. We will communicate any updates on a new date when it becomes available from Governor Cuomo’s office. 

2020-2021 BUDGET

The current budget situation all school districts in New York State find themselves in is one filled with many questions and concerns, as we are all attempting to build a budget for the 2020-2021 school year.  We should know by now what our expenditures are projected to be for the 2020-2021 school year, how much foundation aid (state aid) we should be receiving, and the Board of Education should have established a local tax levy in support of the K-12 academic programs. 

However, this year, the normal budgetary process has been totally changed, due to the COVID-19 health crisis.  In January, we received our preliminary state aid projections from Governor Cuomo’s office.  The state aid for Skaneateles was projected to increase by $12,728 for the 2020-2021 school year.  When we received our April state aid numbers, the $12,728 was eliminated and our state aid was frozen at the 2019-2020 level. Governor Cuomo has also developed a new format for the distribution of state aid, due to limited revenue coming into the state.  The new process involves looking at the state’s revenue at (4) times during the year.  They are April 1 - April 30, May 1-June 30, July 1 - December 31, and January 1 - March 31.  Depending on the financial health of the state after each of those assessment periods, the governor and the budget director would determine the distribution of aid across the state. Not knowing this critical information puts all districts who will be voting on their school budgets at a significant disadvantage. 

We have been told by Governor Cuomo that there will be reductions to our state aid because the state is broke. We just do not know how much of a reduction we will be facing. We will not know what our reduction will be until the conclusion of the first financial assessment on April 30th.  Therefore, we have started to build our budget around this missing information.  The Administrative Cabinet has been meeting to begin exploring ways of reducing our expenditures for the 2020-2021 budget, inclusive of reductions to personnel.  Around May 1st, we hope to receive our first snapshot of the state’s fiscal health by Governor Cuomo and his budget director.  Governor Cuomo has stated that New York State has a $10-15 billion deficit and that reductions will be necessary. We have taken the Governor’s words and started to apply them to our  budgetary process. The Administrative Cabinet continues to work hard at planning and preparing to find reductions, while still maintaining programs and services for our students. 

All the best,

Dr. Jeffrey K. Bryant
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

The 2020-2021 Budget season began on October 2 when the Board of Education adopted the budget calendar for the year and administration had closed the books from the 2018-2019 school year. Please check back for more information as it becomes available. 

Our Audit, Budget and Finance advisory committee is an intregel part of the budget planning process.  The committee meets once a month throughout the school year.  The budget calendar (which includes the tentative ABF meeting dates) and the meeting minutes are posted at the bottom of this page. 



What is a school budget?
Check out this short video to get an overview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=BRdNgyG_jmM


How Can the District Propose a Tax Levy That Is Above the NYS 2% Tax Cap?

This is a common question and comes from a misunderstanding of what the "2% cap" actually is. For information on what is really meant by this term, please see this short video:


 
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Superintendent:
Eric Knuth
 
Phone:
315-291-2221
 
Address:
45 East Elizabeth Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152