Board Forms Budget Advisory Committee; Work to begin in late October

Board of Education Forms Budget Advisory Committee

At its Oct. 6 meeting, the BH-BL Board of Education appointed 51 people to its 2021-22 Budget Advisory Committee.  The committee will begin by reviewing the district’s current and future budgets and delve into the impact the proposed state aid cuts will have on the district.

The committee is made up of (see member list below) school administrators, staff, parents of current students (selected by the schools’ PTAs) and community members at large. The board’s Finance Committee Chair David Versocki along with Assistant Superintendent for School Support Dr. Christopher Abdoo will lead the committee. They are expected to meet virtually two times a month beginning in late October. Budget Advisory Committee will serve through the completion of the 2021-22 budget process, ending with the board adoption and public approval of the 2021-22 budget.

Financial Impacts to be Discussed

As most community members have probably seen or heard in the news, New York state is facing a potential for large-scale budget cut between now and the end of the current school year. School districts have been told to prepare for revenue reductions of up to 20 percent of their total state aid payments.

At BH-BL, a state aid cut of this magnitude would result in a loss of nearly $5 million in anticipated revenue this year.  While the BH-BL Board of Education hopes that this level of reduction does not become a reality, the fiscal condition of the state and the continued gridlock at the federal level is making it appear more likely that the reductions will occur. In fact, BH-BL’s final NYS School Aid payment of the 2019-20 school year (last year) was just received and it was indeed reduced by 20 percent,  already resulting in a loss of $400,000 to the district.

“It is unclear at this time whether the state will make up that significant withholding in the future,” says Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGrath.  “The board believes, however, that it is prudent to make real and concrete preparations for managing a significant loss in state aid revenue in the coming months.”

The Budget Advisory Committee will assist the board in making the difficult decisions necessary to enable the administration to continue to operate the school district effectively in these challenging times.

The Budget Advisory Committee is asked to:

  • Review current budgetary landscape and become educated on the scope and details of the proposed reductions in the context of the current BHBL 2020-21 budget.
  • Identify strategies for managing potential revenue reductions this year and provide advice to the Board and Administration on what strategies to implement and when to implement them.
  • Review and monitor the factors influencing the development of next year’s 2021-22 SY Budget.
  • Identify and recommend strategies for the development of the 2021-22 budget.

Budget Advisory Committee Members

  • Board Vice President/Finance Committee Co-Chairs David Versocki & Lakshmi Nagarajan
  • Board Members John Blowers, Jennifer Longtin, Don Marshall, Lisa Morse & Patrick Ziegler
  • Superintendent of Schools Patrick McGrath
  • Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction David Collins
  • Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Christopher Abdoo
  • Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds Dan Diggins
    Building Principals Tim Brunson, Colleen Wolff, Jill Bonacio, Rick Evans and Tim Sinnenberg
  • Director of Special Services Sharon McTygue
  • Director of Human Resources Mike Nickson
  • Athletic Director Joe Scalise
  • Director of Fine Arts Peter Giroux
  • Communication Specialist Tara Mitchell
  • Teachers’ Association Representatives: Brad Thomas* | Jeff Reynolds* | Eric Devine^ | Cheryl Rasmussen^ | Bryan Yager^ | Bonnie O”Rourke* | Aimee Miller/Sara Verga as backup* | Steph Andrejcak^ | Tracey Dooley^ | Mike Mosall* | Melissa Thomas*  (^ = at large teachers  *= TA leadership)
  • CSEA Representatives: Peg Ostrum (President) | Stacy Clark |  Karen Matrazzo | Mike Nally | Ed Smith |  Barb Maher
  • PTA Reps: Jessica Fraioli & Jennifer Ravalli (Pashley) | Regan DeMartino & Melia Gordon (Charlton Heights) | Therese Brigham & Joan LaBuff/Katie Iannacone (Stevens ) | Jim Ireland & Lori DeMarco (O’Rourke)  | Colleen Grabb &  Kimberly Krizan (High School)
  • Five representatives from community groups including BPA, Rotary, Charlton and Glenville Senior Centers (5)–TBD
  • Community members: Bruce Aldrich | Michael Crowley | John Kelch | Tim Kelliher | Tom Lavertu | Karl Salvatore
  • Student Board Member: Micaela Choi