MCSD reduces an additional $336,975 from budget for a total decrease of $694,048; residents to vote on July 28
On July 8, the Monticello School District Board of Education adopted a proposed 2020-21 budget that is $336,975 less than the budget initially proposed in June and $694,048 less than the 2019-20 adopted budget. Residents will vote on the budget on July 28 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the district’s polling locations (see below).
The proposed budget reduces salaries and eliminates some equipment purchases and professional development. If the budget is defeated by voters on July 28, the district must then adopt a contingency budget. Under a contingency budget, the district would be forced to eliminate all non-contingent expenses, including certain supplies and any equipment. The inability to purchase equipment would delay the district’s scheduled school bus and maintenance vehicle repair and replacement schedule, likely making these necessary purchases more costly in the future. In addition, the district would be unable to offer its facilities to any outside organization, eliminating many district-community partnerships, including programming at the St. John Street Community HUB and youth athletic programs.
“Our initial budget proposal in June included reductions in positions due to attrition, retirement and reorganization, as well as reductions in services such as transportation and grant writing,” explained Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Failla. “Altogether, that initial budget was $357,073 less than last year’s budget. We worked diligently to reduce another $336,975 to present our voters with a budget that is nearly $700,000 less than last year’s, and that prevents a revenue shortfall that could impact our district for years to come.”
There will be a budget hearing livestreamed via the district’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, July 15 at 5 p.m. Residents are invited to submit questions to email@example.com. Questions received prior to the budget hearing will be answered during the presentation and questions received after the hearing will be answered within three business days and posted in the budget FAQs on the district’s website.
“The Board of Education and administration are proposing a reduced budget from the one adopted in 2019–20, and the one previously proposed in June,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Evans said. “This new budget, if approved, would allow for the acquisition of new buses and a drivers education car, and would have no cuts to student programs. We are also preparing for additional expenses related to the fall opening of schools under coronavirus restrictions, such as physical distancing measures and enhanced cleaning protocols. The Governor has repeatedly warned of additional, mid-year cuts in state aid. This proposed budget was developed with these needs, and those of our community members, in mind.”
The polling locations for the July 28 vote are as follows. Please note that the locations have been temporarily condensed due to the Rock Hill Fire Hall and Forestburgh Town Hall being unavailable for public use:
District 1: Thompson and Monticello – Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
District 2: Bethel – Cornelius Duggan Community Center
District 3: Mamakating – Emma C. Chase Elementary School
District 4: Rock Hill – Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
District 5: Forestburgh – Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
All locations will operate in accordance with New York State Department of Health’s guidelines.
All qualified voters are eligible to vote via absentee ballot in the July 28 election. Information concerning absentee ballots is available here on the budget web page.
Budget Public Hearing
The budget public hearing was held on July 15 via livestream. Watch a video of the public hearing here.
If you have questions that are not addressed in the budget hearing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a direct response, and your question and its answer will be added to our frequently asked questions section.
Any qualified voter may apply for an absentee ballot (see below). He/she may cite “potential for contraction of the COVID-19 virus,” as a legitimate reason to receive an absentee ballot, pursuant to Executive Order 202.47.
Absentee ballot applications
Applications for an absentee ballot are available on the district’s website below.
*When completing the absentee ballot application for the July 28 school budget vote, please see the special instructions.
Residents may also request an absentee ballot by contacting District Clerk Janet Montes at 845-794-7700, ext. 70523 or by emailing email@example.com
Applications for absentee ballots to be mailed to the voter must be received by the District Clerk no later than July 21. Applications for absentee ballots that are to be personally delivered to the voter must be received no later than July 27.
All completed absentee ballots must be received by the Office of the District Clerk by 5 p.m. on July 28, 2020.
- Qualified voters must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- 18 years of age
- A district resident for at least 30 days
- Not otherwise ineligible to vote under the provisions of section 5-106 of the Election Law (e.g. a person who has been adjudged to be mentally incompetent by a court)
The last day to register to vote in the July 28 school budget revote is Tuesday, July 21. There will be a Voter Registration Day held on July 21 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School, Cornelius Duggan Community Center, and Emma C. Chase Elementary School. The Forestburgh Town Hall and Rock Hill fire halls are not currently available for use by outside organizations.
Due to the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents will not be able to drop in to the school buildings to register. Residents wishing to register to vote in person must make an appointment with District Clerk Janet Montes by calling 845-794-7700, ext. 70523. They may also register to vote online through the DMV
What happens if the budget does not pass on July 28?
The district must adopt a contingency budget. A contingency budget would:
- prevent the district from purchasing certain supplies and any equipment.
- eliminate many district-community partnerships, including programming at the St. John Street Community HUB and youth athletic programs.
What exactly are we voting on?
The proposed budget on the ballot is the regular annual school budget that residents typically vote on each May. It is not a special election or a capital bond proposal. The annual budget is what funds the day-to-day operations of the district.
How is this budget different than the one we voted on in June?
The district has cut an additional $336,975 in salaries, equipment purchases and professional development to decrease expenditures even further for a total decrease of $694,058 from the 2019-20 budget.
Why are we voting a second time?
Typically, school districts have two opportunities to present budgets to their residents before they are required to adopt a contingent budget. The vote is traditionally held in May, and if it does not pass, the district may then submit the same budget for a revote, revise the budget and submit it for a revote or go straight to a contingency budget. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor delayed the initial budget vote to June, and at the time of the vote he had not issued further guidance as to whether school districts would have another opportunity to present a budget to voters, or whether the district would need to immediately adopt a contingency budget. After the initial vote, the governor did issue an order that allowed districts to hold another vote. Given the impact that a contingency budget would have on our district, our administrative team and Board of Education felt it was appropriate to make further reductions and present a revised budget for our residents to consider.
If this second budget doesn’t pass, and in regards to equipment not being able to be purchased, would that include iPads and curriculum subscriptions (or however curriculum packs are purchased) for each student for online learning in the 2020-2021 school year?
And regarding community groups not being able to use district buildings, would that include the after school program not being able to exist? (In the case of schools being physically open.)
A contingency budget would not affect the purchase of curriculum, devices or subscriptions. However, back-office hardware (e.g. servers), that would support our remote learning platforms and ensure they run smoothly, could not be purchased under a contingency budget as the state considers this “equipment.”
After-school programs cannot add any additional expense to the district. Some programs that are not run by the district and use grant funds would not operate. It’s important to note that the grant used to fund after-school programs is a state-funded grant and the governor has threatened to further reduce aid. It’s unclear as of now if these grant funds will be available to the district for the 2020-21 school year.
In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 202.47, a school budget revote will be held on July 28, 2020 between the hours of 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. The places of voting and the general boundaries of the election districts for this election are as follows:
District 1: Thompson — Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
District 2: Bethel — Cornelius Duggan Community Center
District 3: Mamakating — Emma C. Chase Elementary School
District 4: Rock Hill — Robert J. Kaiser Middle School*
District 5: Forestburgh — Robert J. Kaiser Middle School*
*Due to staff and site availability, the district is condensing its polling locations. Residents of Rock Hill and Forestburgh will vote at Robert J. Kaiser Middle School.
The public hearing on this year’s proposed budget will be held on July 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Information on how to access the hearing will be posted on the District website at www.monticelloschools.net
Pursuant to Executive Order 202.47, all qualified voters of the Monticello Central School District are eligible to vote by absentee ballot upon the submission of an application for an absentee ballot (due to the COVID-19 virus all voters are deemed eligible to apply for an absentee ballot as if they have a temporary illness). An application for an absentee ballot will be made available on the District’s website or may be requested from the District Clerk by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 845-794-7700, ext. 70523
The application for an absentee ballot may be submitted to the District Clerk, Janet Montes, 60 Jefferson Street, Suite 3, Monticello, New York 12701 or by email at email@example.com.
Applications for absentee ballots which are to be mailed to the voter must be received no later than July 21, 2020 and applications for absentee ballots that are to be personally delivered to the voter must be received no later than July 27, 2020. All voters who seek an absentee ballot are encouraged to obtain an application as soon as possible.
To be counted, all completed absentee ballots must be received in the Office of the District Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on July 28, 2020. A qualified voter is a person who is a citizen of the United States, at least eighteen years of age, a resident of the District for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election, and who is not otherwise ineligible to vote under the provisions of section 5-106 of the Election Law (e.g. a person who has been adjudged to be mentally incompetent by a court). All voters must be registered with the District. Information concerning registration is available from the District Clerk or on the District’s website.
On July 8, the Board of Education adopted the proposed 2020-21 school budget during a special meeting. The proposed 2020-21 budget is $90,533,025 (a reduction of 0.76% from 2019-20). The proposed tax levy is $44,493,025 (an increase of 1.12% from 2019-20).
To watch the budget presentation from this meeting, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpRmzgyW8vI
Please continue to check back on this webpage for more information as it becomes available.