Questions and Answers Regarding Development of the 2017-18 Budget
Q: Will any programs/services be reduced under the proposed budget?
A: No, actually the opposite. As part of the proposed budget, the district is working to maintain all existing programs and services, while also creating several enhanced and expanded offerings for students.
Q: What other program enhancements does the district plan to include in the proposed budget?
A: The district is proud to be proposing several programmatic enhancements across all grade levels as part of this year’s budget development process. Greater details about these items will be made public during our March 8 Board of Education meeting, and subsequently discussed at future Board and PTA Meetings. Information will also be added to this page.
Q: What is the district doing to reduce class size at the elementary and secondary levels?
A: Over the past several years, the district has maintained a strong commitment toward reducing class size at the elementary level and creating a balanced class size at the secondary level. To date, our elementary classes are operating at optimal limits and our secondary programs are being provided at proper levels across our large continuum of courses. It is important to understand that while every effort is made to balance class sizes at the secondary level, singleton courses, level changes and student schedule changes during the school year have a direct impact on class size.
Q: Will staffing be reduced under the proposed budget?
A: No, staffing will not be affected as a result of budgetary constraints.
Q: Under the proposed budget, is the district looking to pierce the New York State Tax Cap?
A: No. The district is working to develop a proposed 2017-18 budget within its allowable New York State Tax Cap limit.
Q: Why is the district considering implementing a pre-kindergarten program now?
A: As growing state and national research highlights the importance of providing students with appropriate intervention services as early in their education as possible, and taking note of the positive long-term financial repercussions such actions can have, the district felt it important to explore creating an official Three Village operated program to best meet students’ needs.
Q: How much will the pre-kindergarten program cost?
A: As the district is still in the process of developing the proposed budget, an itemized budget amount for this program is not yet available. However, projections indicate that the overall cost for the program will not have a significant impact on the budget. In preparation for the SCOPE operated Pre-K program, the district outfitted three classrooms at Nassakeag to include reading materials, provisions and technological resources. Additional technological resources are available and a separate playground was constructed two years ago, so limited supplies are required. Staffing costs would largely be taken care of using existing budget funding from the current personnel codes. It is important to note that these staffing changes would not have any impact on current class sizes, as the positions would have otherwise been reduced due to declining enrollment at the elementary level.
Q: What is the total proposed budget?
A: As the budget is currently in the development process, a final figure is not yet available. However, it should be noted that the final amount will be within the district’s New York State Tax Cap limit when the budget is adopted by the Board of Education on April 5.