During the April 8 Board of Education Meeting, Superintendent John Carmello presented Draft 3 of the 2020-2021 Troy City School District Budget. A stark contrast to earlier drafts, this budget has a nearly $3 million gap due to insufficient state funding. The State’s budget crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated revenues and even with an allowable tax cap of 2.14 percent, there will be cuts to staff and programs.
The State announced that Foundation Aid levels will be funded at the same rate as 2019-2020, leaving high-needs school districts like Troy, that rely heavily on State Aid, with drastic budget gaps.
Carmello said this disproportionate funding is both unfair and inequitable.
“The State budget crisis will be paid for by the poorer students of New York State,” he said. ” I worry that the upward trend we’ve seen over the past seven years will be wiped away in one year due to the coronavirus’ effect on the economy. It’s heartbreaking.”
Carmello is working on advocacy initiatives in an effort to persuade legislators to correct the problem, although the State Budget has been finalized.
Draft 4 of the 2020-2021 Budget will be presented during the April 21 meeting. Budget votes have been postponed by the Governor and has not yet announced a date.