Budget Vote, BOE Elections May 17
Dear OCSD Community,
Our annual budget vote is quickly approaching and once again the Board of Education, through their hard work and creative thinking, has adopted a budget that meets our stated goals:
Fiscally sound – not excessive to taxpayers, with a 0% increase on the levy;
Flexible – provides flexibility within our budget codes;
Foolproof – provides for emergencies should they occur;
Flowing – has enough cash flow available, in case state aid is late or withheld; and
Aligned – has proper programming and support included, that are aligned with district strategic goals.
During the past year, we have been able to do the following:
Add mental health services – As we continue to recognize the importance of social-emotional learning, the district has hired additional counselors, social workers and home and school liaisons, while also contracting with mental health agencies, to provide added support for our students.
Provide summer programming – In an effort to support our students’ learning needs and “instructional gaps” due to the pandemic, the district provided summer programming for K-12 students. The district will continue to provide summer programming during the 2022-23 school year.
Provide more staffing – Throughout this school year, we have added additional staff (instructional and support staff) to assist us with maintaining our strong educational programming for students, while also ensuring the health and safety
of our entire learning community.
This upcoming school year’s budget maintains each of these items and our current educational program. The budget also provides access to additional programming for all of our students, at a 0% tax levy increase for taxpayers. This is in part due to additional state aid that the district will realize next school year.
Additional 2022-23 Programming
Some examples of additional programming that students will be able to take part in include: more intramural programs, which will be offered to all students, and dual college credit coursework, which will also be offered at no costs. Both opportunities are exciting for the district. They represent ways the district is moving forward with its strategic goal of ensuring equity, access and more program opportunities for all students.
Different Parts of the Budget
This year’s budget of $97,160,976 consists of three parts: the Program, Capital and Administrative sections of the budget. There is also a one-time cost for the recent emergency soil remediation project, which is approximately 3.3% ($3.3 million) of the increase to our budget. Following is information about
the different budget categories:
Program – The program section makes up 75% of our proposed 2022-23 budget. This portion of the budget covers all instructional costs for the district.
Capital – The capital section of the budget makes up 15.5% of this year’s budget.
It covers facilities and debt service costs.
Administrative – The administrative portion of this year’s budget is 9.5% of our total budget. This section of the budget covers central and building administration costs, including CiTi BOCES administrative fees of over $1 million.
Emergency Soil Remediation Project
Approximately 3.3%, or half, of this year’s overall budget increase ($3.3 million) is attributed to a one-time cost that the district will need to pay for our recent emergency soil remediation project. Future budgets will not have any of these costs in them.
These costs were initially estimated at $5.7 million. They have come in at $3.3 million, which is well under the initial estimated costs ($2.4 million less). It should be noted, the district will receive 88% building aid, or $2.81 million, in state aid. To add to this, because this project was qualified as an “emergency project,” the district will receive its building aid in one year instead of 15 years – which is the normal time allotted for receiving aid on projects.
The additional revenue (state aid) from this project will be offset by an interfund transfer back to the capital fund for the $2.81 million. Accordingly, this one-time increase to the budget is cost neutral, due to the offset of state aid.
Additional Administrative Support
This year’s budget will also provide additional administrative support for the district. Throughout this school year, we have worked diligently to revamp our organizational chart and are adding administrative support.
These additions reflect our district’s strategic plan and goals which are focused on:
Increasing student academic outcomes, especially in reading and math;
Increasing graduation rates for all students; and
Reducing chronic absenteeism.
With that said, we encourage you to come out and vote Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We encourage our entire community to come out and take part in the vote.
Thank you for your continued support of our students and our entire learning community.
Yours in Education,
Dr. Mathis A. Calvin III
Superintendent of Schools