2020-21 School Budget Development

2020-21 Budget and school elections news

In an executive order issued on Friday, May 1, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that this year’s school budget vote and board of education election will take place on June 9*, exclusively by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Executive Order No. 202.26 establishes a timeline of actions that schools must undertake leading up to the vote date of June 9*. The actions include sending an absentee ballot with a prepaid return envelope to all qualified voters.

*UPDATE: The Governor’s Executive Order  202.39 issued June 7 extended the deadline for mailed-in ballots to June 16, at 5 p.m. 

Qualified voter definition

Qualified voters are defined as U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older by June 9, 2020, a School District resident for 30 days immediately preceding the vote, and registered to vote in School District elections and having voted in any School District election/vote during the past 4 calendar years.

Voter registration: by mail or remotely

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there will be no personal voter registration
held at school district offices prior to the annual budget vote. If you are not registered, you can register with the County Board of Elections by mail or remotely through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website at: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application

Budget development and notifications

Following budget adoption, the district will make the proposed budget available to the public, hold a remote budget hearing, and mail a budget notice to all residents after the hearing. This procedure is no different than previous years except for the hearing being held remotely.

Additionally, the executive order calls for districts to send out a postcard with the date of the election, the date of the budget hearing and the definition of a qualified voter.

Florida UFSD’s administrators will continue to review the details of the executive order and will share more information, including the date of the public budget hearing, as soon as possible.

Board of Education election: candidate requirements and nominating process

The Governor’s order also waived the minimum signature threshold for board of education candidates and states that candidates must meet all of the other requirements to run for the board. These include being qualified voters and having lived in the district continuously for one year prior to the election.

Candidates to the Board of Education of the Florida Union Free School District must meet the following requirements:

  • Be able to read and write
  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 18 years of age by June 9, 2020
  • Not be excluded from voting pursuant to Election Law, §5-106
  • Have resided in the Florida UFSD for a period of one year immediately preceding the election.

To be considered as a candidate to the Florida UFSD Board of Education, individuals may be nominated or self-nominated by petition directed to the District Clerk stating the name and residence address of the candidate and that he or she be qualified to be a member of the Board of Education.

Each petition shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk at, or by no-later-than
Monday, May 11, 2020, at 5 p.m. at 51 North Main Street, Florida, NY 10921. Click here to download the nominating petition form.

Enacted New York state budget for 2020-21 keeps school Foundation Aid flat

In light of COVID-19, districts brace for potential mid-year aid cuts and “Pandemic Adjustment” reductions

On Thursday, April 2, New York state lawmakers adopted a state budget that keeps Foundation Aid flat for the 2020-21 school year and maintains overall education funding at nearly the same level. Passage of the budget came against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impact on state finances.

According to the Governor’s Office, overall education funding for next year is $27.9 billion, about the same as the current year. A $95 million increase in formula-based state aid is attributed to growth in expense-based aids. These are reimbursements for spending in designated categories such as transportation, special education and BOCES services.

However, in light of COVID-19, two new provisions in the budget contribute to significant uncertainty for school districts: the introduction of periodic reviews of state revenue that could result in mid-year school aid cuts and a new “Pandemic Adjustment” state aid reduction that is, at least for now, fully offset by new federal funding.