2018-2019 School Budget Passes

  • The Pittsford Central School District 2018-19 School Budget Passed.
    Thank you to the PCSD community for your support.

    The results are as follows:

    Budget: $136,544,880, within the tax cap

    Yes  2,061

    No  701

    Proposition: Purchase 12 Buses from Capital Reserve Fund

    Yes  2,357

    No  403

    Board of Education: Three seats, three candidates

    Valerie Baum  2,171

    Irene Narotsky  2,187

    Rene’ Sanchez-Kazacos  2,145

2018-19 Proposed Budget within NYS Tax Cap

  • 2018-19 Budget Vote and School Board Election
    May 15, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Barker Road Middle School, gymnasium

    Residents Will be Voting on the Following:

    1. The proposed budget of $136,544,880
      The proposed budget is within the NYS Tax Cap at 2.64% which requires a simple majority vote to pass, preserves current programming, and adds a Full-Day Kindergarten program for a budget increase of 4.98%.

    2. The proposition to purchase replacement buses from the Capital Reserve Fund
      Authorization to purchase twelve replacement buses, per the District replacement schedule, at a cost of no more than $1,324,047 from the existing capital reserve fund (savings account). The Proposition will not result in new taxes. Using the reserves will generate approximately $820,000 in State Aid to replenish the account.

    3. Board of Education Seats
      Three incumbent candidates are running for three seats on the Board of Education.

      baum
      Valerie Baum is seeking her second term.

      Mrs. Baum has been a member of the Pittsford Central School District Board of Education since 2015. Baum has served on the PCSD District Planning Team; Online Learning Subcommittee; interview committees for the District’s assistant superintendent, director of special education and director of technology; Monroe County School Boards Association (MCSBA) Information Exchange Committee; and the PCSD Teacher Center Policy Board. She also served as Pittsford Parent Teacher Association co-president for two years and vice-president of its Education Council. In addition, Baum was a member of the Instructional Leadership Council for three years, has served as the Calkins Road Middle School PTSA co-chair, and has participated in MCSBA Advocacy trips to Albany.Currently, Baum is co-chair of the MCSBA Legislative Committee, a member of the Board Audit Oversight Committee, a member of the MCSBA Steering Committee, and actively participates in fundraising events for various organizations in Rochester and San Diego. She is a former volunteer for PCSD, the Rochester City School District Tutor Program, and Literacy Volunteers of America.

      Baum holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego. She is married and has four children--three who have graduated from Sutherland High School and one who is still attending.


      narotsky
      Irene Narotsky is seeking her fourth term.

      Mrs. Narotsky has been a member of the Pittsford Central School District Board of Education since 2009. Narotsky is currently a Manager in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra organization after managing non-profits at the University of Rochester and Ithaca College and a 23-year career as a Kodak research engineer. She has served as a member of the Monroe County School Boards Association (MCSBA) Steering Committee, Co-Chair of MCSBA Information Exchange Committee; member of PCSD District Planning Team, PCSD Parent Advisory Team and PCSD Instructional Leadership Council; and member of Town of Pittsford Teen Court Committee. Narotsky has also served as Pittsford Teacher Student Association (PTSA) Co-President, Co-Editor of PTSA Website/E-News, Vice-President of PTSA Education Committee, and Chair of PTSA Art Ambassador. In addition, she has served as Board Liaison to the Teacher Center Policy Board.

      Currently, Narotsky is serving as Co-Chair of the MCSBA Labor Relations Committee; as a University of Rochester Writing Program Real Reader, providing mentorship to engineering students; and as Co-President of her Neighborhood Association.

      Narotsky holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester, is married and has had three children graduate from Sutherland High School.


      sanchez
      Rene Sanchez-Kazacos is seeking her first full term.

      Mrs. Sanchez-Kazacos was elected to the board in 2017 to finish a one-year term vacated by an elected member who moved out of Pittsford Central School District. She is currently completing her 19th year in public education, 18 of which have been spent in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District as a middle school social studies teacher.

      Throughout her career as an educator, she has been a member of the New York Council for Social Studies and the Rochester Council for Social Studies. Her teaching experience also included the opportunity to participate in the Committee of 100 in Albany. She has served as a New York State United Teachers voting delegate, and has participated in negotiations for the Annual Professional Performance Review process. Currently, she is coaching a Pittsford Mustangs soccer team.

      Sanchez-Kazacos received both her B.A. and M.A. in Education from SUNY Fredonia. She and her husband have two children who attend Thornell Road Elementary School.

    Proposed Budget is Within the NYS Tax Cap and Preserves Programs
    Advocacy Brings State Aid for Full-Day Kindergarten

    The Pittsford Central School District’s 2018-19 proposed budget is within the calculated 2.64% New York State Tax Cap and preserves existing programs. Intense advocacy efforts were rewarded with $1.3 million dollars over three years in additional State Aid earmarked for a Full-Day Kindergarten program. In addition, PCSD was awarded a $200,000 Senate Grant to offset costs. If the proposed budget is approved, conversion to Full-Day Kindergarten would happen in the 2018-2019 school year.

    The addition of Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) to the base budget raised the budget increase from 2.37% to 4.98%, however the proposed Tax Levy remained unchanged and within the NYS Tax Cap of 2.64% due to additional funding sources for FDK including, NYS FDK Conversion Aid, a Senate Grant, use of reserves for minor capital renovations and bus purchases, and use of unreserved fund balance.

    Fiscally Responsible

    • PCSD has remained within the Tax Cap since its inception despite consistently receiving the minimum percent increases in Foundation Aid.

    • Managing health insurance costs with a county-wide consortium and increased employee contributions.

    • Adjusting instructional staffing according to enrollment demands.

    • Utility and maintenance efficiencies through the capital improvement projects.

    • Positive comptroller reports, ongoing audits, and healthy reserves.

    • The District’s Bond (Credit) Rating is the best possible for a school district.

    Maintaining Excellence

    • Despite the NYS Tax Cap, PCSD continues to protect current programs and improve offerings, including a proposed Full-Day Kindergarten program to begin in the 2018-19 school year.

      • State and local advocacy efforts helped to bring about a three-year incentive from New York State to convert to a Full-Day Kindergarten program.

      • PCSD will receive 100% conversion aid for transitioning to Full-Day Kindergarten in the first year, 65% in the second year and 35% in the third year.

    • Budget reductions were made away from the classroom.

    • Curricular programs and extra-curricular opportunities are preserved.

    Voter Identification Required
    Qualified voters must present identification. Proof of residency may include the following valid and current documents: New York State driver’s license; New York State non-driver identification card; utility bill; or, voter registration card. Voters shall also be required to provide their signature and printed name. Qualified voters must be U.S. citizens, residents of the district for at least 30 days prior to the election, and 18 years of age or older.

    Contingent Budget
    Per NYS law, school boards can submit a budget to the voters a maximum of two times, then a “Contingent Budget” must be implemented. If the budget is defeated once, the Board may conduct a revote or go straight to a Contingent Budget. NYS law requires that a Contingent Budget not include certain non-ordinary contingent expenses AND that the new budget must have a Tax Levy that is not greater than the previous year’s Tax Levy. The Board of Education is charged with determining a Contingent Budget, however, for PCSD a Contingent Budget would result in an almost $6 million budget variance from the proposed 2018-2019 budget of $136,544,880.

Budget Development Meeting Schedule

  • The development of the PCSD budget is a thoughtful and on-going process which involves short- and long-term planning. Currently, PCSD is in the midst of forecasting enrollment projections at the one, five and ten year mark, aligning subsequent staffing projections to enrollment projections, reviewing line item codes and beginning to build its budget guidelines through the District Planning Team. During the budget process, there are a variety of meetings held by the Board of Education including Budget Work Sessions which are used by the Board of Education to gather information and ask questions about particular sections of the budget. These sessions are held outside of formal Board of Education meetings. Potential budget implications and various scenarios will be discussed during these evening events.

    Previous Budget Work Sessions

    Monday, February 12, 2018
    Tuesday, February 27, 2018
    Monday, March 12, 2018
    Monday, March 26, 2018
    Monday, April 16, 2018
    Monday, May 7, 2018

     

    Tuesday, May 15, 2018
    7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
    Budget Vote and Board Election
    Voter identification is required.
    Barker Road Middle School
    Gymnasium

    Absentee Ballot Voting Information

    The Pittsford Central School District community is invited and encouraged to be part of the budget process by attending these sessions and the regularly scheduled board meetings. Budget work sessions are open to the public. All Meetings are held at Barker Road Middle School, Meeting Room 1.

2018-19 Budget Proposal with Full-Day Kindergarten Adopted by Board of Education

  • The Pittsford Central School District's 2018-19 Budget Proposal was adopted by the Board of Education on April 16, 2018. The adopted Budget Proposal includes a Full-Day Kindergarten program with no impact on the tax levy.

    The agreement secures an enhanced three-year incentive in the New York State budget for Full-Day Kindergarten in Pittsford. Pittsford will receive 100% conversion aid for transitioning to Full-Day Kindergarten in the first year, 65% in the second year and 35% in the third year. This is the largest Kindergarten Transition Aid offered in New York State history.

    With the introduction of Full-Day Kindergarten in Pittsford Schools, students will now have the opportunity to experience all the benefits of an engaging, developmentally appropriate full-day program. According to research, children who attend Full-Day Kindergarten programs show greater social, emotional and behavior development. They are also better prepared for school, demonstrate stronger learning skills, and earn higher academic achievement in later grades.

    PCSD thanks Senator Funke, the PCSD Advocacy Team, PTSA, Pittsford Cares, and all the parents, residents and staff members who advocated for students.

    More information will be forthcoming as budget details are rolled out.

April 2, 2018 NYS Budget Update

  • Advocacy efforts heard in Albany

    • PCSD Base Budget balances with additional Foundation Aid.
    • Full-Day Kindergarten Conversion Aid provided over three years, however program start-up costs not addressed.

    As Pittsford Central School District continues to work through the New York State 2018-2019 Budget runs from Albany, it is not yet clear whether PCSD will be able to offer a Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) program.

    The State Budget includes three years of FDK conversion aid, two years less than what was proposed in one House bill and appears to be several hundred thousand dollars less than the one House bill. Over the next several days, we will be analyzing the State budget, and identifying areas that could reduce FDK start-up costs.

    We are, however, grateful to Governor Cuomo, Senator Funke, Assembly Majority Leader Morelle, other local legislators, PCSD Advocacy Team, PCSD staff, PTSA, Pittsford Cares, and all the residents who advocated on behalf of our schools.

March 26, 2018 Budget Work Session #4

February 12, 2018 Budget Work Session #1

January 26, 2018 Budget Update

  • Dear PCSD Community,

    I’d like to take this opportunity to give you an update on the Governor’s initial budget proposal, and PCSD’s approach to the 2018-2019 school budget, including full-day kindergarten (FDK).

    Stay Under the Tax Cap

    As we continue to develop the 2018-2019 school budget proposal, know that the Board of Education and I are resolved to staying under the tax cap. Currently, we do not have all the information necessary to calculate PCSD’s tax cap rate, but we have heard clearly that a majority of our community does not want us to exceed the tax cap.

    Within the recent budget proposal there are three critical areas of concern for PCSD:

    ·         Foundation Aid which supports our regular programs

    ·         FDK Conversion Aid which will provide for our youngest learners’ needs

    ·         Sustainability Commitment that the State will recognize PCSD full-day kindergarten students as “full-time” instead of “half-time” students in Foundation Aid formulas

    As you will see, there are many moving parts to this budget process.

    Foundation Aid –$23,000 increase proposed

    Foundation Aid is the aid all New York State (NYS) schools receive to fund their basic education operations. The Governor’s proposal is suggesting PCSD receive the lowest possible increase available in the amount of 0.25%. This equates to an approximate increase of $23,000 in Foundation Aid for PCSD next school year. In order to provide some perspective, the chart below illustrates the dollar amount (blue bars) and percent increase (maroon line) of proposed Foundation Aid for school districts in Monroe County.

     Budget Chart

    We continue to work with the State Aid office to ascertain why we are among the lowest, and why PCSD is consistently among the lowest in NYS. We believe that some of this is a factor of PCSD being considered by NYS as having slightly above NYS Average Wealth. Consequently, PCSD is treated similarly to downstate districts with three to seven times our wealth when it comes to State Aid allotments.

    Governor’s Support for FDK Conversion Aid

    The District remains committed to FDK because of its importance in providing what our youngest learners need in order to keep up and compete with their NYS peers who are in school for a full day. However, we will only be able to add this program if we can include it while staying under the tax cap. PCSD will need substantial aid from the State to convert our kindergarten program to a full day.

    Our local legislators as well as the five remaining districts in NYS without FDK have pushed hard on this issue. The good news is that in this initial budget, the Governor recognized FDK. While allocations are minimal, he has recommended some incentive for the remaining five school districts across NYS without FDK in order to implement this program.

    This proposed incentive would come in year two of implementing FDK only (2019-2020); which could mean approximately an additional $325,000 in aid for PCSD. We are working closely with our local legislators on this incentive and strongly encouraging them to negotiate an increase to this line item.

    Sustainability Commitment

    In order to maintain a FDK program over time, we need assurances that we will receive ongoing NYS aid that reflects our change in student attendance status from half-day to full-day. While it may seem like common sense that aid would follow an increase in a student’s attendance status, we have received conflicting information about this from the Department of Budget, NYS State Aid Office and the Governor’s office. As I write this, we are waiting for a definitive answer.

    What’s Next?

    The Governor’s initial budget is a starting point; something not in finalized form by any means. During the budget negotiations between the Senate, Assembly and the Governor, we remain hopeful that we will see some increase in Foundation Aid, a substantial increase in support for FDK, and the issues surrounding its sustainability.

    Our next steps are to encourage legislators to follow through on their promise to fund FDK and to increase our Foundation Aid. Our immediate plans include:

    ·         PCSD Advocacy Team re-visiting our legislators

    ·         PCSD Board of Education and Superintendent meeting with all legislators on Saturday, January 27, 2018

    ·         PCSD Teacher leaders meeting with legislatures in February

    ·         PCSD PTSA advocacy trip to Albany in February

    ·         PCSD Advocacy Team to reconvene in February, after the above actions to discuss next steps

    I will continue to provide updates as they become available.

    Sincerely,
    Michael Pero, Superintendent of Schools

Voting by Absentee Ballot