Welcome to the BCSD Budget Information page, your source for current budget news, information, presentations, and other related documents.
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2013-2014 Financial and Budget Information
Please click the above to view financial information,budget development and voter information documents regarding the 2013-2014 school year. As new information becomes available, it will be added here.
April 18, 2013: The Bedford Central School District Board of Education unanimously approved the 2013-2014 school district budget to be voted upon by the community on Tuesday, May 21. The 3.37% tax levy increase is below the Governor’s established tax levy limit (tax cap). All school programs and courses with one exception have been retained. Elementary class size limits will remain unchanged as well.
Replicating the current year’s program next year would have required an additional $5,257,571 due to several known expense increases, which would have exceeded the tax levy cap. These increases are in the areas of state mandated pension contribution costs ($2.8 million), transportation costs ($130,000), salary increases ($2.3 million), health insurance costs ($500,000) and others. The Board of Education and the Bedford Teachers Association are currently in collective bargaining.
To reconcile the funding gap to stay below the tax cap, the Board of Education allocated approximately $3,550,000 from fund balance and reserves, and the administration identified program and staffing modifications and cuts of approximately $2,900,000. At this time, nineteen and one half staff positions have been eliminated, and cuts have been made in funding for professional development, materials and supplies, field trips, and in other designated areas. In addition, efficiencies have been identified in district operations.
Board of Education President, Mrs. Susan Elion Wollin, commented “ The school district continues its trend of keeping the tax levy low and working for every efficiency possible, however, until those in Albany balance the tax cap with promised mandate relief from state imposed cost drivers, budget gaps will continue and cuts will continue in upcoming years.” Mrs. Wollin noted, too, the initiation of a community and parent grassroots advocacy group to educate the community of these circumstances and will hold an inaugural meeting on May 1st.
The Board of Education and administration value the input from the numerous students, parents, and community members who participated in the budget process. The data from the District’s annual public opinion surveys and input from citizen committees was also incorporated into developing the budget and helped to prioritize and to expedite decision making.
Jere Hochman, Superintendent of Schools, commented that this budget “reflects guiding principles of safety, every student’s achievement, equity and access, and efficiency and also reinforces that we must continue to ask what is at the core of our mission and what should be shared with or facilitated by others.” Of note, the Superintendent and the Board of Education expressed how proud they were of the students who advocated and spoke at Board of Education meetings and sent in their questions.
Anticipating a larger budget gap, librarian positions and additional teaching positions were initially projected to be cut along with modifications to music scheduling, elimination of some modified (middle school) athletic teams, the quantity of middle and high school clubs, and other reductions. Further reconciliation of the budget and identification of positions and programs that could be underwritten by outside sources or funded as shared services with community agencies kept these positions and programs from being cut this year.
Topics of particular community interest included changes in music scheduling, reductions in clubs and sports, and the elimination of particular positions including the District’s video communications and student assistance counseling at the high school. There will be no changes in the overall music program from the manner in which it is being taught this year. Commitments from the District’s Boosters Club and other shared services partnerships will allow the District’s video communications and student assistance counseling positions to be retained as well.
While under the allowed tax levy cap, the tax levy translates into tax rates in the towns and villages which comprise the school district as follows:
Est. Tax Rate
Est. Tax Rate Change
| Mt. Kisco || |
Mark Betz, Assistant Superintendent, commented, “As State and Federally imposed mandated costs continue to rise, school districts will be forced to cut valuable programs and services to meet the financial restrictions also imposed. I am proud we have worked together to minimize this year’s impact. I shudder to think what we would look like if we had to cut another $3.6 million under a contingent budget.”
The budget will be presented at several community meetings and the Board of Education’s Budget Hearing will be held on May 8 at 8 p.m. The community annual budget and trustee vote will be held on May 21. Information about voter registration and all budget presentations and information can be found on the district website www.bcsdny.org
The Board of Education is scheduled to meet on March, 6, 13, 20, April 3 and 10th to discuss and finalize a 2013-2014 budget. The Annual School District Election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 from 7 am until 9 pm. Registered voters may vote in the elementary school serving their attendance area on the budget and three Board of Education seats. Board meetings are broadcast live on BCSD-TV Channel 18, Verizon FIOS Channel 1982 and are stream lived from our website.
March 14, 2013: At the Board of Education meeting held on March 13, 2013 Dr. Jere Hochman, Superintendent of Schools, presented the preliminary 2013-2014 school budget of $124,229,131. The preliminary budget represents a 1.25% budget to budget increase and is under the tax levy cap of 3.37%.
Key aspects of the preliminary 2013-2014 budget include:
· Eliminates approximately 30 teaching and staff positions
· Maintains all academic programs with one exception
· Modifies or reorganizes some programs
· Stays under the tax levy cap limit
· Maintains elementary class size targets, the middle school ‘teaming model” and the number or course choices at the high school
· Reduces or eliminates some elementary librarian positions, middle school athletics, musical small group “rotationals” and high school and middle school district sponsored clubs.
Dr. Hochman stated that, “The budget additions, changes, and cuts are based on a set of guiding principles which continues to define Bedford Central as a high-performing district fulfilling our educational mission, acknowledging the financial landscape, and developing children with our entire community.”
A reform movement in public education at the State and Federal level imposes many costly unfunded mandates and a tax levy cap restricting what local school districts may fund. This is the second year of the New York State imposed tax levy cap – a mandated state formula used to calculate the allowable tax levy increase under which school districts must operate without requiring 60% super majority public vote override. The allowable tax levy of 3.37% results in a funding gap of approximately $4 million before making the proposed cuts.
Dr. Hochman introduced the budget presentation noting the following guiding principles were used as the basis upon which decisions were made to develop this budget: safety, student learning, equity and access for all students, professionalism and efficiency. Dr. Hochman also stated that a key principle is that the district will “do our job”and collaborate with community agencies, parents, and others in areas of shared responsibility for that which is not.
Mr. Mark Betz, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administrative Services, reviewed the estimated non-tax revenue projections, provided a fund balance analysis and reviewed the major budget “drivers” of pension costs, salaries, health care costs and transportation services. The estimated net budget changes total approximately $5.2 million, $3.7 million of which has been cut in order to be under the tax levy cap. Please visit the following link on the District’s website to review the full PowerPoint presentation: http://www.bcsdny.org/files/filesystem/March%2013%202013%20Budget%20presentaion%20to%20BOE.pdf
Mrs. Susan Elion Wollin, President of Bedford Central’s Board of Education, noted that school districts no longer have the local control and autonomy they once had. As Bedford Central’s Board President and as a Vice President of Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association active on the Legislative Advocacy Committee, Mrs. Wollin outlined several aspects of NY State regulations as well as the necessary mandate relief that can only be addressed in Albany. She cited pension contributions as a key example of the large budget drivers over which the school district has no control.The Board of Education will deliberate on the 2013-2014 budget at the meetings scheduled for March 20 and April 3, 2013. The Board is expected to approve a 2013-2014 school budget at the meeting on April 10, 2013. Dr. Hochman and the Board welcome comments, suggestions and input from the community. All Board meetings are broadcast live on Cablevision Channel 18 and Verizon Fios 1982; and are available for rebroadcast on the District’s website video-on-demand module.
Please click here for 2012-2013 Financial and Budget Information
Please click here for 2011-2012 Financial and Budget Information