Dear Roscoe community,
The Roscoe Central School District administration and board of education are working diligently on next year’s school budget. We are putting together the most cost-effective plan to maintain current programs and opportunities for our students. Unfortunately, we expect we will be proposing a tax levy increase that exceeds the allowable tax levy limit.
There are several factors that have contributed to this. As you may be aware, the state placed Roscoe on its “moderate fiscal stress” list. The state uses several indicators to assess and designate the financial health of a school district, including fund balance levels, operating deficits, cash-on-hand and reliance on short-term cash-flow borrowing. Our fund balance, which should be at least 4%, was at 0.99% at the time of the most recent audit.
We have had an unexpected increase in the costs related to special education services and out-of-district program placement costs causing us to use our fund balance to cover these additional expenses. Also, a large factor in the stress designation was the low amount of cash on hand, which was directly related to the increased cost of special education related services and its direct impact on the fund balance.
Our proposed 2023-24 budget will aim to resolve the factors that put us on the comptroller’s list.
Some other factors beyond our control include inflation’s impact on everything from paper to fuel and other everyday operational expenses, as well as increased contractual costs.
We are fully funded under the state’s foundation aid therefore we are expected to receive the minimum 3% increase. When coupled with our other state aid categories, overall we are receiving a decrease in state aid in 2023-24.
We are taking steps to control costs. We are carefully monitoring our expenses on a monthly basis and have frozen any unnecessary spending. We are continuing to look at cost saving measures that will help rebuild the fund balance and be removed from the moderate fiscal stress designation.
While we do not have solid numbers on what our budget will look like yet, I am working with our school business official and school board to develop a budget that will continue to provide our students the best quality education at the lowest possible cost.
Budget workshops, which are open to the public, will continue until the board approves a proposed budget in April. Budget proposal details will be mailed to voters and be available on our district website. The Annual Budget Hearing will be on May 9 and the budget vote will take place on May 16.
Click here to read more information about the tax levy, the tax cap and what going to a contingent budget would mean. I hope you find this helpful as you learn more about our district’s proposed budget and the challenges our school community faces. Please reach out to me with any questions you may have.