Important Update on Upcoming School Budget
January 24, 2024
Dear Union Springs Central School District Community:
I wanted to write to you today to provide you with an update regarding our proposed state aid for the 2024-2025 school year. On January 16, 2024 Governor Hochul proposed her Executive Budget to the state legislature. In the Executive Budget proposal, the Governor recommended a change to the funding formula regarding the calculation of Foundation Aid to school districts. This proposed change removes a provision called “save harmless” under which our school district’s Foundation Aid has previously not been reduced while other districts sought additional aid for years in which their districts were under funded. Foundation Aid is the single largest source of school aid from NYS to the Union Springs Central School District. In the 2023-2024 school year, Foundation Aid supported $7,815,636 of our overall school budget. Under the proposed Executive Budget, for the 2024-2025 school year, Union Springs is now slated to receive $6,788,052. This would equate to a reduction in revenue in the amount of $1,027,584 next school year.
A reduction of state aid of this magnitude in one school year, would result in substantial changes to our instructional program, limit our ability to provide for extra-curricular opportunities, and challenge our ability to continue to be the strong and vibrant school district that we have come to know. The Governor’s proposal is now with the state legislature, and we do not anticipate receiving updates from NYS regarding our final funding amount for the 2024-2025 school year until the end of March or early April. In the meantime our school board, staff, and school community will be working tirelessly to identify ways to blunt the impact of these cuts to the children we serve. Unfortunately, even our best efforts, will most likely result in reductions in terms of what we can offer if our state aid remains reduced by more than $1 million dollars in a single school year.
Since the Executive Budget proposal has come out, people have asked what they can do to help our district in this situation. It would be very helpful if you were so inclined, to write or call your local state legislator and share with them your support of the Union Springs Central School District, how important our school is to our community, and how a reduction in school aid of this magnitude following years in which the cost of nearly everything has gone up as a result of inflation, is ill timed, and will impact the children of our school district. Our local legislators’ work in crafting the legislative budget for New York State, is where your advocacy on our behalf can truly make a difference.
The state legislators representing our school district are:
Jeff Gallahan, Assemblyman
70 Elizabeth Blackwell St.
Geneva, NY 14456
Rachel May, Senator
333 E. Washington St., Suite 805
Syracuse, NY 13202
I will share with you more information as it becomes available, and the state budget comes into greater focus. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support of our school district and our students. It remains an honor to serve as superintendent of this school district.
Jarett Powers, Ed.D.