On May 20, the Troy City School District Board of Education adopted a proposed budget of $113,651,375. With this plan, the tax levy will increase 1.99%, which is $53,357 below the allowable tax cap of 2.13%. This is the eighth consecutive year the District has proposed a budget at or below the tax cap.
This year, the District was faced with the task to close a $2.9 million gap created by the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on the State Budget and subsequent State Aid for school districts. The District was able to develop a plan that contains spending but one that still ensures all children have access to programs and supports needed to be successful.
Given the size of the budget gap, the district had no choice but to reduce staff. The biggest savings were found by eliminating a total of 25 positions. This includes 23 instructional positions, one clerical position and one laborer. Additional savings came from retirements as well as a pay freeze and health care change for administrators.
According to Superintendent John Carmello, the proposed cuts followed a comprehensive and extensive analysis of all district programs. “It is unfortunate that we have to recommend any positions for elimination at this time,” he said. “However, the recommended cuts allow us to close the budget gap while maintaining strong programs and services for our students and families.”
“Our goal is to have the least possible impact on our students and their learning,” said Carmello. “We needed to find a way to cut $3 million while keeping the positive momentum going in the district and still being able to help every student reach their full potential and achieve success.”
The District continues to see rising graduation rates, well above the statewide average for high needs districts. The proposed budget will maintain small class sizes and the District will continue to provide extra supports for those who need it. This includes the mental health supports added last year as well as the expanded STEM programs.
“This has no doubt been the most difficult budget to develop since I’ve been superintendent, but I am confident in our caring and dedicated staff and the district’s ability to provide a quality and comprehensive education to all students in Grades Pre-K through 12. We will get through this together and I thank the community for their support, especially during difficult times like these.”
Per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order, all school budget votes and Board of Education elections will take place via absentee ballot only. All ballots must be received to the Office of the District Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2020.
To learn more about the proposed budget and vote, visit www.troycsd.org/budget.