Budget Questions and Answers (2017-2018 Budget)
1. Are we the only district in the capital region facing a
- No. Most every district has a gap between their revenue and
expenses. There is a range based on a number of factors.
2. How did we get in this position of having little revenue
but increasing expenses?
- The key factors impacting the budget for next year include:
- Little to no growth in community (new businesses, stores
etc.), which impacts tax levy limit
- We are an average wealth district, meaning we receive
minimal funding from NYS; Schalmont slated to receive only an
additional $100,000 in the Governorâ€™s executive budget
- NYS isnâ€™t funding districts at the full level required under
state law; We lost millions to the GEA over the years -- money
weâ€™ll never see
- Increases associated with contractual obligations (salaries,
benefits) make up most of the spending increase in the rollover
- Increases in utilities costs
- CPI used for tax levy formula (1.26% - not the
widely-advertised â€œ2 percent tax capâ€�)
- Increases to special education costs
- In order to maintain the required amount of fund balance,
only so much is available to offset gap
3. Are we the only district in the area considering a tax
levy threshold override? What does an override mean for us?
- No. According to NYS, other area districts considering an
override of the tax cap include Glens Falls, Queensbury, and
Northville. An override means that we are considering proposing a
budget that would increase the tax levy by more than the 1.46
percent allowed under the NYS tax cap formula. In this case, 60
percent of voters would need to vote in favor of the budget for it
to be approved.
4. What percentage of our annual school budget is set aside
for healthcare payments?
- In the 2017-18 draft budget, 14.2 percent of expenses is for
health insurance payments for both active/current employees and
retirees. The breakdown by group is as follows: instructional, 61.5
percent; administrators, 4.7 percent; non-instructional, 33.8
5. Can we expect this level of gap year after year?
- Yes. Unless something changes in funding or expenses, we foresee
this same level of gap occurring next year and in future years.
6. Why is our projected state aid increase only $100,000?
- The NYS funding formula for schools is complex and is driven by
a number of factors. These include enrollment, wealth and poverty.
Schalmont currently has about 1,800 students and has a wealth factor
that is considered average. In addition, our free-and-reduced price
meal population (25 percent in 2015-16) does not meet the stateâ€™s
threshold for a high-poverty district â€“ this also factors into
Schalmontâ€™s state aid.