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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
For more information, visit the district’s budget web page