2020-21 Budget News

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. [FULL STORY]

Important School Tax Bill Information

All BH-BL School Tax bills were mailed out to residents on Sept. 1 and are due, without penalty, by Sept. 30. If you have not yet received your school tax bill, please contact Grace Meade at 518-399-9141, Ext. 85027 or email taxoffice@bhbl.org.

If you are mailing your tax bill payment, it is strongly recommended that you put your payment in the United States Postal mail by mid-September to ensure it reaches the BOCES School Tax Bill Processing Center before Sept. 30. It has been suggested that due to COVID-19, the postal service is experiencing higher demands than a normal year. [READ FULL STORY]

2020-21 School Budget

Budget: $70,885,844 | Estimated tax rate increase: 1.98% | Tax levy increase: 2.90% | Budget-to-budget increase: 1.92%

Overview of the Budget Process

Budget development actually starts in every November when the Board of Education begins to identify their budget objectives and the factors external and internal to the school district that are likely to have the greatest impact on the next year’s budget. Such factors can include rising prices for fuel or health insurance, for example, or the expectation that we will be impacted by a new state mandate or a change in pupil enrollment.

By December, the Board has created a detailed budget development calendar that includes the objectives and context for the new school budget.

In January, the Board of Education receives preliminary budget requests for the coming school year from school administrators, as well as requests for additional staffing and possible new or improved programs.

February, March and early April are spent analyzing and discussing these requests at a series of public Finance Committee meetings. The school board also solicits public input on the budget and devotes time to budget development issues at its regular February and March business meetings. Administrators work to refine their numbers as more accurate cost estimates and enrollment figures are received during this period, and as Board members ask them to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of providing a service in a different way.

Throughout the winter and spring, school board members and administrators are also monitoring budget activity at the state level. BH-BL school board members and administrators are in frequent contact with local legislators to inform them how various state funding proposals will affect our schools.

In mid-April, the Board of Education votes on a proposed budget. A newsletter describing the budget is then printed and mailed to all district homes in early May. A copy of the proposed budget broken down by line items is also available in May at the main office of each school or the District Office. The public vote on the proposed budget is held by law on the third Tuesday in May.