District leaders present first draft of proposed 2021-22 budget; Projects revenue shortfall

The first draft of the proposed 2021-22 South Colonie Central School District budget was presented to the Board of Education on Tuesday, March 16. 

Key Points

    • The first draft of the budget totals $109,728,299 with a budget-to-budget change over the current school year of +$2,727,324, or 2.55%.
    • The district is facing a $4.4 million cut in state aid next year, which is covered by one-time federal aid.
    • The level of overall revenue is not adequate to cover expected costs and some degree of staffing adjustments are likely to be necessary, through attrition when possible.
    • The district’s tax levy for next year is 1% over the current year. This is below the district’s projected tax levy limit of 1.03% and significantly lower than last year’s 2.92% levy increase.

State and Federal Aid

In his New York State Executive Budget released in January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a freeze on the level of Foundation Aid, the largest state school aid category, for the second year in a row and a proposed State Aid reduction for South Colonie of $4.4 million for the 2021-22 school year. This will be offset by federal stimulus allocation for the same amount.  However, education advocates across the state have warned of the “fiscal cliff” that districts may face in future years when federal aid goes away if state aid is not provided to fill the gap.

State lawmakers continue to debate the budget prior to the April 1 deadline so final State Aid remains unknown at this time. Additionally, it is unclear whether New York state will allocate additional federal stimulus funds to support schools beyond the district-specific federal allocations that were planned to offset the gap in state funding.

Other budgetary information that is subject to change include BOCES and private school special education student placements, BOCES expenditures, and other district program adjustments.

Next Steps

The South Colonie Board of Education will work with district leaders and administrators collaboratively to develop a plan to minimize the budget impact while sustaining critical programs and supports for students.

The budget development process will continue at the next scheduled board meeting. The second draft of the 2021-22 district budget will be presented to the board on Tuesday, April 13, during a community budget forum at 7 p.m. Members of the community can participate by viewing the live stream of the meeting on the district’s YouTube channel.  

Budget Vote Details

The annual district budget vote will be held on Tuesday, May, 18, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Voting will take place at the five elementary schools. Also on that day, residents will elect to fill two seats to the Board of Education and vote on a proposed land purchase proposition totaling $2,050,000. 

First Draft Budget Presentation

First draft budget presentation