The Board of Education will begin its work on the Rome school district’s 2020-21 budget on Thursday night.
An initial spending plan presentation from the district administration will be reviewed at a meeting of the board’s finance committee of the whole on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the district office, 409 Bell Road. The session is for the entire board.
“This is the first time the board will be hearing the tentative budget where the administration will present its desired priorities and plans,” explained board President Stephen P. Hampe, adding “now the board will begin to weigh in on the overarching plans for district spending.”
The 2020-21 budget would take effect July 1 this year. Before that, the process will include ongoing discussions between the board and district administration, with the board scheduled to adopt a proposed budget by April 21; hold a public hearing on May 7; seek district voters’ approval of the budget in a May 19 election.
The school district’s current 2019-20 budget of $116.69 million included a 4.06% increase in the local property tax levy compared to 2018-19 and also cut some jobs through attrition and layoffs.
The current budget reflected an approximately $1.2 million decrease from 2018-19.
One of the budget’s key revenue sources is state financial aid, and the district is expected to receive an initial estimate for 2020-21 as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s scheduled announcement this afternoon of his proposed 2020-21 state budget.
Each year, the governor’s proposal typically is revised following reviews by state legislators prior to the state budget’s effective date of April 1.
A $6 billion state budget deficit is projected.
Among possible topics at Thursday night’s school board meeting will be projected state aid figures; potential local tax levy amounts; and board priorities for budget spending.
“As the district relies on both its tax levy and state aid to fund our programs, both will obviously be major factors in the budgetary process,” said Hampe.
Thursday’s meeting likely will start with the “usual monthly updates that are presented to the finance committee followed by the broader full 2020-21 budget discussion,” Hampe commented.