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BUDGET PROCESS 2019-2020

Currently, we are anticipating a $700,000 budget deficit for the 2019-20 school year if expenses stay the same as in the current year. Our fund balance is close to zero and can no longer be used as a revenue source. Originally, it was estimated that this number was $500,000, but after going line-by-line through the budget, it was found that several budget items were underestimated, equaling the additional $200,000. 
 
Our only options are to cut expenses or raise taxes to account for the $700,000 or a combination of the two.  It will not be possible to balance the budget without one of these scenarios.  All areas in the budget are subject to possible cuts for next year.  I will keep you updated as we move through this process.  
 
 
 
 
 
Draft 2019-2020 Three Part Component Budget Pesented to the board on 3/26/2019 
 
Schenevus Central School 2019-2020 Final Budget adopted by the Board of Education on 4/9/2019 
 
 

Budget Advisory Committee

In February, the district formed a Budget Advisory Committee. This committee is composed of the following members; Kelly Gallaher, Liz Reed, Greg Beall, Theresa Carlin, Joe Bomba, Pam Barber. Tim Green, Peter Oberacker, Shanna Ritton, Sue Binney, Miranda Morell, and Ray Misner.  
 
The committee held its first meetings in February and early March to analyze the district's budget situation and develop recommendations for the board. Members also attended a public budget forum on March 13.  
 
At the committee's March 20 meeting, committee members identified the following priorities: 
  • Using a combination of existing staff and BOCES services to cover the duties of five retiring staff members (2 elementary teachers, 1 physical education teacher, 1 business teacher, 1 occupational therapist) 
  • Reconfiguring the Guidance department to include 1 counselor for grades K-12, and one licensed clinical social worker whose services can be billed to Medicaid (eliminating 1 guidance counselor position)
  • Eliminating the Library Media position now provided through BOCES, and using existing staff to cover the two required periods per day
These recommendations will go before the Board of Education for consideration as the board works to develop a budget proposal.

Budget Vocabulary

A budget deficit occurs when expenses exceed revenue.

How do you solve a deficit?
        1. Increase the amount of money you make
        2. Decrease the amount of money you spend
A budget shortfall is a failure to come up to expectation or need.  The revenue did not meet the need of the expenses. A $700,000 budget shortfall means that the revenues coming in fall $700,000 short of meeting the expenses.

How do you solve a budget shortfall?
        1. Increase the amount of money you make to meet
        2. Decrease the amount of money you spend
Deficit spending is the amount by which spending exceeds revenue over a particular period of time.

How do you avoid deficit spending? Don’t spend more than what you make!
Budget deficits, shortfalls and deficit spending do not mean that money is missing! It simply means there is not enough money to support the spending.

Frequently Asked Budget Questions

Questions about the budget process? Click the links below or scroll down to read more about how and why the district develops its annual budget.

How does the district develop its budget?

Local school boards must develop a balanced school budget proposal each year. The proposal is put up for a public vote on the third Tuesday in May. The 2019 vote will be held on Tuesday, May 21.
 
Developing the budget requires the district to balance expenses (money going out) with revenues (money coming in). Expenses include salaries, benefits, supplies, and facilities and transportation costs. Revenues include local taxes, state aid and money from the district's fund balance. 
 
Fund balance is money left at the end of the fiscal year — either because costs were less, or revenues were more, than expected. State guidelines govern how much money should be kept in fund balance. 
Since state aid does not cover all of the district's expenses, the rest of the budget must be paid for through local taxes and/or fund balance. Schenevus' fund balance was depleted to pay for the 2018-19 budget without raising local taxes above the tax cap. Therefore, local taxes and state aid are the only sources of revenue to fund the district's expenses for the 2019-20 school year. 
In Schenevus, a budget committee has been created to help inform the budget process. The committee met in February to learn more about the budgeting process. Its next meeting is scheduled for March 6. Meetings are open to the public. 

What happens if the budget isn't approved by voters? 

If voters do not approve the proposed 2019-20 budget, the district has two options. It can re-submit a proposal for a re-vote (the same budget, or a different one), or it can adopt a contingent budget. If the second vote is defeated, the district is required to adopt a contingent budget. 
State law limits the contingent budget in a few ways. First, the tax levy must remain the same as the previous year’s budget — a 0 percent increase. This limits the district’s revenue to be equal to what it was the year before, regardless of any increase in costs. 
A contingent budget also prohibits certain spending. For example, Schenevus spends money on making school facilities available to the community. Under a contingent budget, the district would not be allowed to do so. There are also limitations on equipment purchases, field trips and student supplies. 
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How are property taxes calculated?

Property taxes are based on a few factors. One is the value of the properties within the school district. Towns conduct assessments to determine property values. 
 
Property taxes also depend on the tax levy set by the school district. The tax levy is all the money that will come from local taxes. This is part of the budget approved by voters each spring. 
 
Each August, your town will calculate its tax rate by dividing the tax levy by the total value of all property in the town. In Schenevus, about one-third of the district's funding comes from property taxes. For every 1 percent property tax increase, the district brings in about $32,000 in revenue. That’s less than 1 percent of last year’s total budget. 

Why does the district need to buy new buses? 

All school buses must meet stringent safety codes established by the state. According to state law, if a bus doesn’t pass inspection, it must be taken off the road until repairs are made. 
 
As buses grow older, maintaining them becomes more expensive. Replacing aging buses is typically more cost-effective than performing repairs. In addition, new school buses are more fuel-efficient, and meet current safety and emissions standards. 

Why does the district use BOCES services? 

Schenevus is a component district of Otsego-Northern Catskills BOCES. Through BOCES, Schenevus can access shared services at a reduced cost. 
 
School districts receive funds from the state, called BOCES aid. These funds cover the costs of BOCES services used during the previous year. 
 
Schenevus uses BOCES aid to pay for BOCES expenses for the following year. This reduces the burden on local taxpayers and decreases the district's expenses. 

Why does the district need separate funding for capital projects? 

School facilities need regular upkeep to operate year after year. The cost of wear and tear can go above and beyond what the annual school budget can support. Capital projects are a way for school districts to do more work quickly in a cost-effective manner. 
 
The state reimburses school districts for eligible capital project costs. Since this funding comes from a broader tax base, this can reduce the local cost of the project. In Schenevus' most recent capital project, state aid paid for more than 80 percent of the work. 
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Schenevus Central School District
159 Main Street, Schenevus, NY 12155
Phone 607 638 5881 | Fax 607 638 5600
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