A Note from Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
I want to provide you with a brief update on the process of developing a school budget for 2021-22. At last week’s Board of Education Meeting, we reviewed potential state funding scenarios for next year, which will ultimately depend on the outcome of the state budget process, as well as different tax levy scenarios. This includes potentially exceeding the tax cap if that’s necessary to minimize staffing reductions. We have identified the potential reduction of up to 13 positions (full-time equivalent) that could be made through attrition and with limited program impact. However, we have not made any decisions, as the final state budget will shape our options considerably.
As we shared in the last update, the Executive Budget Proposal contains a $3.6 million cut in state aid for Niskayuna. Recent legislative proposals do not include this cut, which would help us significantly. The Governor and legislative leaders continue to negotiate ahead of the April 1 deadline for a state budget. State funding for Niskayuna will determine if and to what extent we need to consider reductions and our options in terms of the tax levy increase. Our tax levy cap this year is 1.17 percent. This is significantly lower than the average of the last four years, which is one of the reasons exceeding the cap to preserve staff members is part of the conversation.
Assuming an on-time state budget, we will have the information needed to share a more detailed plan at the Board’s next meeting on April 13. We could adopt a budget that evening or at a meeting on April 20.
We are mindful of the impact that our decisions have on people, our students and the sustainability of our schools, and will continue to weigh them carefully.