On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, voters of the Florida Union Free School District approved the 2020-21 school budget with 660 votes in favor and 330 opposed.
The unofficial results showed that 66.7% of 990 total voters supported the district’s $22,699,765 spending plan proposal.
The approved budget increases spending by $12,545, or 0.06 percent, from the current year. The tax levy increase of 2.29% is below the district’s tax cap calculation, as defined by the state law, therefore the budget could be approved by a simple majority (50 percent plus one).
Voters also approved the purchase of two school buses at the cost of $130,000 by a vote of 662 to 328.
Voters elected incumbent Coleen Connolly to the Board of Education with 811 votes. Her three-year term will commence July 1, 2020.
“I want to express a sincere thank you to all of our community members who participated in this important civic act,” Superintendent Jan Jehring said. “Your engagement and support are always appreciated.”
The official election results will be accepted at the Board meeting on Thursday, June 18.
Approved budget prioritizes health and safety, stays below tax levy limit
Through careful planning and cost and personnel reductions, the approved budget keeps the tax levy increase to 2.29 percent. This increase is below the district’s tax levy limit calculation as defined by the state law.
The new budget increases spending by $12,545, or 0.06 percent, and reflects investment in the district’s health and safety capacity, cyber security and data protection.
Other prioritized areas include support for existing academic programs, continued enhancement of technology for instruction and data protection—while building additional capacity in the areas of health and safety by investing in cleaning supplies, masks and other personal protective equipment.
“Faced with a loss in New York state aid, and ongoing uncertainty for school districts, our priority remained to balance our educational mission with our fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers,” said Superintendent Jan Jehring. “Through these challenging times, our school community has worked together to ensure continuity of learning for all our students and provide for their needs. We look forward to having our students return to school.”
2020-21 BUDGET AT A GLANCE
- Total budget: $22,699,765
- Tax levy increase: 2.29 percent
- Year-to-year spending increase: $12,545
- Reduces six positions through attrition, reflecting decrease in enrollment and loss of state aid
- Enhances health and safety protocols
- Includes expenses associated with Phase I of capital project
- Restructures resource allocation and staffing for continued enhancements in classroom technology, cyber security and data protection
Three-Part Budget Summary
- Program Component: $17,651,770
- Administrative Component: $2,449,450
- Capital Component: $2,598,545
State, Federal Aid
Misc. (tuition, interest)
Proposition 2: Purchase of two school buses
Voters also approved a proposition for the purchase of two 28-passenger school buses in the amount of $130,000.
The purchase will allow the district to retire two 14-year-old buses with over 100,000 miles each. Recognizing that older, high-mileage vehicles cost more to keep on the road, the replacement reduces maintenance costs, and ensures safe and reliable transportation for all students.
State transportation aid will fund approximately 64.1 percent, or $83,330 of the bus purchase costs, over a three-year period.
The full text of the budget is also available for review during normal business hours in the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, 51 Main Street, Florida, N.Y.