Board adopts $91.27 million budget that decreases property tax levy by 2.06%
At its April 20 meeting, the Monticello Central School District Board of Education adopted a proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year. The $91,266,606 spending plan is a decrease of $1,420,266 from the rollover budget initially proposed earlier this year, and decreases the property tax levy by 2.06%
Given the unusual circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, administrators created a budget and expenditure list based upon a three-year average of data, rather than relying solely on data from the unprecedented last year and a half. The proposed budget preserves all existing positions, adds new custodial equipment and a truck, increases professional development, and adds additional positions to support student and district success, including a teacher aide, school district accountant, three teaching assistants, a security attendant and social worker.
Less than half of proposed budget is funded by property taxes
The proposed budget is an increase of $733,581 from the adopted 2019-20 budget, however, an 8.39% increase in state aid enabled the district to reduce the property tax levy by 2.06%
“We have worked diligently since 2015 to progressively shrink the portion of the budget funded by the tax levy, while increasing funding from other sources,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Failla said. “Less than half of the district’s expenses have been funded by our taxpayers since the 2018-19 school year and we were pleased to be able to continue that trend in this upcoming year.”
Federal stimulus money is not included in annual budget
Although the district expects to receive federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), those funds are not included in the proposed budget. This one-time federal relief funding is intended to address specific challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will not be an on-going source of revenue for American school districts. The stimulus money must be placed into a special aid fund that is separate from the general fund. In order to receive aid, school districts must submit a plan to the New York State Education Department for approval that details precisely how the district intends to utilize the funding in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the federal government. Funds can only be used for specific purposes, including addressing learning loss through targeted interventions such as summer school, mental health support, and upgrades to facilities that improve indoor air quality. At press time, the district has not received confirmation of the amount of aid it can expect to receive. However, once more information is received, the district will continue to update the public as the process continues.
“While we appreciate this relief, these monies are a one-time infusion of federal dollars that must be expended between now and 2023,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Evans said. “There is a finite period for that expenditure and once that is over, that money is gone, so it would not be prudent to attempt to roll it into our annual budget. We will work diligently, with broad stakeholder input, to create a plan for these funds that best benefits our students and our community.”
District residents will vote on the proposed spending plan and elect three members to the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 18 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
Thompson/Monticello – District #1
Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
45 Breakey Avenue, Monticello, NY 12701
Bethel – District #2
Duggan Community Center
3460 Route 55, White Lake, NY 12786
Mamakating – District #3
Emma C. Chase School
28 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wurtsboro, NY 12790
*Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Rock Hill Fire Department and Forestburgh Town Hall, the 2021-22 school budget vote will only take place at district-owned polling locations: Robert J. Kaiser Middle School, Duggan Community Center and the Emma C. Chase Elementary School.
Voters in the Rock Hill and Forestburgh districts will vote at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School.
If you have a question about where you should vote, call 845-794-7700, ext. 70523
Board of Education Candidates
The three Board of Education candidates, in ballot order, are:
- Timothy Crumley
- Lynka Rivera
- Todd Grodin
The public is welcome to attend the district’s virtual budget hearing, which will be held on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. A live stream of the hearing will be available on the district’s YouTube channel
More information about the proposed 2021-22 budget is available on the district’s budget webpage.