Board of Education Forms Budget Advisory Committee
On Sept. 23, the BH-BL Board of Education held a special meeting to vote on establishing a Budget Advisory Committee to review the district’s current and future budgets and delve into the impact the proposed state aid cuts will have on the district.
The committee will likely be made up of nearly 50 people (see member list below), and will include administrators, staff, parents of current students (selected by the schools’ PTAs) and members at large. The board’s Finance Committee Chair David Versocki has begun the search process for five members at large from the BH-BL community. Interested residents (those who do not have students currently attending a BH-BL school) should submit a letter of interest no later than Tuesday, Oct. 6. Letters should be sent to:
BH-BL Central School District
Attn: Board Clerk Re: Budget Advisory Committee
PO Box 1389
Ballston Lake, NY 12019
Budget Advisory Committee members will be appointed at the Oct. 6 Board of Education meeting and will be asked to serve through the completion of the 2021-22 budget process, ending with the board adoption and public approval of the 2021-22 budget. As a baseline, the group will meet every other week beginning in early October through the Google Meet platform. Meetings will be in the late afternoon and/or early evening.
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 soon-to-be established 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
The Board would like to have the following representation on the committee. (Other district personnel and outside experts may be engaged as the process proceeds.)
- Board Vice President/Finance Committee Chair (Co-Chair) David Versocki
- Board Member (Co-Chair) Lakshmi Nagarajan
- 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
- Each Building Principals (5)
- 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 (Teacher Association President and five building presidents or designees) (6)
- Five at large teachers (selected by the Teachers’ Association but not in the leadership of the association) (5)
- CSEA President & Vice President and 5 at large members selected by CSEA President and representing diverse roles within district) (7)
- Ten parents selected by PTA (two per building with Building Council Parent Reps assigned possible) (10)
- Five representatives from community groups including BPA, Rotary, Charlton and Glenville Senior Centers (5)
- Five additional at large community members (preference given to individuals without students in the district)–Apply by Oct. 6
- Micaela Choi Student Board Member