School Superintendent Proposes 2020-2021 Budget
At the February 4 meeting of the Rye City School District, Superintendent Dr. Eric Byrne announced his Recommended Budget for the 2020/2021 school year which he described as one that is “fiscally responsible and allows the District to continue to provide the excellent education our community expects.”
Among the highlights of the nearly $93 million budget are:
* 2.1% increase in spending
* 2.1% increase in revenue
* 2.21% increase in tax levy
* 5.5 additional instructional staff.
The proposed budget is tax–cap–compliant. The tax levy for 20/21 is less than the previous three years, which were as high as 3.1%. As was the case in previous years’ budgets, the recommended budget relies on appropriated fund balance to keep the overall budget within the cap. The use of the fund balance to pay for expenditures still leaves the District with $17,000,000 of combined reserves.
Approximately 80% of the Superintendent’s Recommended Budget expenditures are for salaries and benefits. With the signing of a new teacher contract last year, increases in salaries are trending to be compliant with tax cap limitations. However, the cost of benefits, particularly healthcare, continues to rise at a more accelerated rate: 3.5 % to 4% a year.
The budget benefits from a decline in debt service expense of $789,635 as older borrowing is paid off. The first payments for the $80 million of construction bonds approved last year will begin in the 2021/2022 school year.
Budget workshops will be held on March 3 and March 21. The Board of Education will vote to adopt a budget on March 24, followed by a public hearing on May 5. The date for the public to vote on the budget, as well as elect new board members, is May 19.
- <Peter Jovanovich>