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SCS 2024-25 Budget Plans Still Unsettled

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/23/24 | 2/23/24

By David Avitabile
SCHOHARIE - In an unsettled budget year, Schoharie school board members will not get their first look at the proposed 2024-25 budget until next month.
David Baroody, the Schoharie school business administrator, gave school board members Thursday a brief budget update, mostly on key dates. The major details will come next month.
"In terms of a preview of how the budget looks this year, I plan on presenting at the March 21st meeting," Mr. Baroody said. "At this point, information surrounding the 2024-25 budget is still fluid and changing by the day."
One area that could definitely be changed is state aid. The initial proposal from Governor Kathy Hochul showed possible cuts for several local districts, including Schoharie.
"In Governor Hochul's proposed budget Schoharie would see a cut in funding by 1.58 percent or $133,851," Schoharie School Superintendent David Blanchard said earlier this month. "We receive over half of our revenue from state aid. This has the potential to be disastrous for educational outcomes in small rural districts like Schoharie.  Our other revenue source comes from local taxes which are held to the 2 percent tax cap.  We generally expect expenses to increase 3 percent year over year. Given increased costs and inflation, this will be a very difficult budget for our school district. 
"There is further concern when looking beyond the proposed budget as many local districts were held flat in state aid this current year. Thus the trends we are watching have to be addressed through the legislature and Governor's office. 
"As a district we will work through the issues presented to build a budget that is fair to taxpayers while doing our best to maintain quality programs."
SCS officials hope to get more information on state aid by next month's meeting.
Key budget dates include:
* March 1: Submission of calculation of 2024-25 tax levy limit to the state comptroller.
* March 21: Board meeting, presentation of tentative 2024-25 budget.
* April 1 (?): State Legislature Adopts 2024-25 State Budget, including preliminary estimates of aid to education.
* April 19: School Board Candidate Nominating Petitions due in District Clerk’s Office by 5pm (30 days preceding the budget vote).
* April 24: Board meeting, presentation of Revised Tentative 2024-25 Budget, leading to adoption of Proposed 2024-25 Budget; Approval of Propositions; Approval of Property Tax Report Card.
* May 7: Public hearing on on proposed 2024-25 Budget.
* May 21: Date of voting by residents on 2024-25 Budget; Propositions; Members of the Board of Education, noon to 8 pm.

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