School Board Adopts Revised Budget, Residents to Vote by June 9
On May 19, the Rye City School District Board of Education unanimously approved a revised budget for the school year 2020/21. Because of possible cuts in state aid to education, the originally proposed budget had to be adjusted to reflect the potential the loss of $460,000 in revenue.
The approved 20/21 budget calls for $92,391,461 in spending, an approximately 1.5% increase over the previous year’s budget. The 2019/20 budget was $90,965,043.
The tax rate increase is 1.90%, versus 2.04% for the 2019-20 budget. The budget-to-budget increase is 1.57% — the lowest increase in ten years.
Among the changes from the original proposed budget are three staff reductions: Director of Literacy, CPSE Chairperson, and an elementary teaching position. Other reductions include: $60,000 in transportation costs at the high School; $60,000 in District-wide textbook expenditures.
In addition, there will be a $150,000 reduction in faculty and staff health coverage costs realized through participation in a healthcare bidding consortium. That cost will be reallocated to IT for classroom equipment to support live streaming instruction.
Superintendent Dr. Byrne cautioned the virtual audience – the meeting was held via Google Meets — that it was possible that the governor might cut even more state aid to education. The approved budget assumes a 10% cut in state aid; it is possible that the final number will reach a 20%, which would mean the Rye City District would lose over $700,000 in state aid compared to last year.
An online budget hearing, open to the public, will be held June 1. Voters will receive an absentee ballot in the mail giving them the opportunity to approve or disapprove the budget. Also, on the ballot is the election of new members to the School Board. There are seven candidates vying to fill two open seats. All mail-in ballots are due no later than June 9 at 5 p.m.