School board to discuss contractual matters, internal budget review


Contractual matters and an internal review of the general budget process will be the topics for the Board of Education on Thursday night, in what are anticipated to be closed sessions.

The board has a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the school district office, 409 Bell Road, and is expected to go into a closed executive session to discuss contractual matters.

That will be followed by a 6:30 p.m. board “retreat” session for professional development. It will include information for newer board members “about how the budget process works” in general as well as a review for the rest of the board, said board President Paul Fitzpatrick.

The school district is in the midst of developing a 2019-20 budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. A proposed $118.95 million spending plan was presented to the board by district Superintendent Peter C. Blake on March 7, but it is still being addressed and is subject to changes; among the details presented were a potential 3.96 percent local property tax levy increase, possible reduction of 81 staff positions through layoffs and attrition, and some possible program cuts.

Blake recently has been in Albany to meet with state legislators and “plead our case,” said Fitzpatrick; Blake has said a key aid category for Rome is significantly underfunded based on formulas for what should be provided. A new state budget for 2019-20 including final aid figures is supposed to be approved by April 1.

The Rome district’s budget is “still a work in progress,” said Fitzpatrick. It will be discussed further at the board’s next regular meeting on March 28.

The board is scheduled to adopt a proposed budget by April 23. It will be subject to final approval by district
voters in a May 21 election.


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