As the district continues to navigate the negative impact on state aid as a result of the coronavirus, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide an update on actions taken thus far.
New York State is facing about a $14 billion deficit for the fiscal year and state lawmakers continue to seek additional federal funding to address the shortfall. In August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo advised municipalities – including school districts – to expect a 20 percent reduction in aid if federal funding does not come through. A 20 percent reduction would disproportionately impact districts like Cohoes who are more dependent on state aid.
Has the district seen a reduction?
The district experienced a 20 percent reduction in payments for some state aid categories, impacting revenues by nearly $400,000. To prepare for future reductions in state aid, the district has had to reevaluate the current year’s spending plan and make some difficult decisions which impact staffing and programs.
Since the beginning of the school year, a total of 17.2 FTE positions have been reduced. Nine of these were through attrition due to retirements or resignations and 8.2 through reducing or eliminating positions. Many of these were acted upon at the Nov. 4 Board of Education meeting.
These reductions would enable the district to withstand a 10 percent decrease in state aid through the remainder of the school year. The budget committee will continue to evaluate the district’s financial position as the state’s fiscal landscape is made clearer.
Despite these cuts, please know that our school community remains committed to meeting the needs of our students and fulfilling our mission to prepare them for success in tomorrow’s world.
We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. If you have any questions about the changes outlined above, please feel free to reach out to your building principal or Acting Superintendent Peggy O’Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org.