Good evening, I am writing to update you on several items that are considered ‘urgent’ regarding our District.
In March we were told that based on the financial impact of COVID, state aid would be impacted. Governor Cuomo informed schools that a 20% reduction could be possible. Unfortunately, the news has not improved, and we have experienced our first reduction in state aid of -$125,879 for special education.
The news doesn't get better. By September, the District - if everything else stays the same - is looking at revenue decreases of over -$1.1 million. Current projections based on known information to date:
2019-2020 NYS Aid OWED BUT NOT EXPECTED TO BE RECEIVED:
2020-2021 NYS Aid EXPECTED TO BE REDUCED:
• -$738,316 (September)
• -$452,363 (October - December)
• -$3,941,754 (January - September 2021)
-$5,583,565 loss of NYS aid for the 2020-2021 school year if 20% is realized.
While we have some reserves to utilize, we (and all school districts) are facing a catastrophe. States are hopeful that the next federal stimulus bill will include aid to states for schools. Congress is not slated to reconvene until after Labor Day with no guarantee (a) if a stimulus bill will include aid to states and (b) if approved, when funds would be provided. Additionally, if funds flow directly to the state, we have no timetable for if / when funds would flow to local districts.
What does this mean for the District?
1. We have some reserves to use between now and the end of September.
2. We are identifying potential cost saving measures to review with the Board of Education on Monday, August 31st.
3. While we hope that federal funds will be received, we can’t wait to see and must have contingency plans in place by the end of September.
While the work going into the reopening of school is paramount, this is equally important. This is a fluid situation, and we will keep you informed and updated regularly.
Jason Van Fossen