During the March 22 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent John Carmello presented the second draft of the 2017-2018 School District Budget. The proposed draft of $113,040,797 will come with a tax cap of .45%, less than half a percent increase from last year.
Carmello stated the budget development process is in a holding pattern, as districts wait on final State Aid numbers. He reiterated the fact that the governor’s proposed Executive Budget falls far short of what the district needs and that it still underfunds the district by more than $9 million in Foundation Aid. The current Budget Gap is nearly $2.6 million.
The Senate and Assembly budget bills have been released. Both reject the Executive’s proposal to repeal the Foundation Aid formula as well as the unilateral budget adjustment.
One possible positive would be an “unfreezing” of charter school basic tuition. This would reduce Troy CSD’s tuition responsibility by more than $2,000 per pupil. However, this legislation is sensitive in that it would raise tuition for other districts.
Carmello proposed including a resolution on the May ballot to establish a Capital Reserve. If approved by voters, a Capital Reserve would aid the District in long-range financial planning for future capital projects. The District would have the authority to save roughly $4.5 million over a few years for additional areas still needing improvement as indicated in the Building Condition Survey. There are no tax implications in establishing such a reserve, but it must first be approved by voters. The Board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 27 at Troy Middle School to discuss and vote on the inclusion of such a resolution on the May ballot.
Draft 3 of the 2017-2018 Budget will be presented to the Board on Tuesday, April 4 at Troy Middle School. The public will vote on a final draft on May 16. See the full 2017-2018 Budget Calendar for details.