Thursday, Jul 19th

Last updateThu, 19 Jul 2018 7am

You are here: Home Content Village Voices School Budget Update and Thoughts on Long Term Budget Planning
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back t...

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was ...

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlin...

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district h...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

School Budget Update and Thoughts on Long Term Budget Planning

budgetgraphIn response to repeated calls for a long-term financial plan for the Scarsdale School district from community groups, Superintendent Hagerman and Assistant Superintendent Mattey unveiled the first phase of a long term plan at the Board of Education meeting on 12/11/17.

Mattey explained the annual budget process and outlined the primary factors that drive the budget formulation including salaries, pension contributions, projected enrollment, anticipated revenues, debt service, health insurance costs, estimated fund balance and the state tax cap.

Taking a look at the current picture, he gave projections for 2018-19 for the district's contributions to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and Employees Retirement System (ERS), two expenses that have been volatile in the past. He reported that TRS, now at 9.8% of salaries is expected to go up to 10.5-11% for the 2018-19 school year, which could mean a $750,000 expense increase for Scarsdale. ERS, now at 15.1% is expected to remain flat at 15%.

He explained that mandated costs, such as water filters on district taps and fountains to mitigate lead will now cost the district $30,000 a year, and explained that these costs are sometimes difficult to predict.

budgetexpense


Overall, Mattey estimated that the 2017-18 school budget would close out at $151,169,598, which is $1.1 million or .74% over the actual 2016-17 school budget.

Expenses for 2017-18 at $154,341,066 are estimated at $6.9 million (4.72%) more than the 2016-17 expenses of $147,380,706. Much of this increase is due to salaries and benefits which went up when the district added new personnel last year.

fundbalance2The district will end the year with a $3,171,468 million decrease in the fund balance from $23,422,731 in June, 2017 to $20,251,263 in June, 2018. Contributing to this decrease is $2.8 million that was used to fund shortfalls from the 2014 facilities work. The district had $1.29 million in tax settlements from the tax certiorari reserve and health insurance costs are expected to be $700,000 higher than last year.

Still unknown are energy costs, which are driven by winter weather. Mattey anticipated that heating costs will also rise due to expanded facilities at the high school.

The district expects to use $1.1 million of this fund balance towards next year's budget. That would leave the district with 3.57% in reserves. The state allows the district to hold a maximum of 4% of the budget in a fund balance.
fundbalance

 

 

The board was provided with historical data dating back to 2011, showing enrollment, tax cap rates, revenues and expenses. Mattey cautioned that the historical and trend data was not a reliable source of budget estimates for the future, but good information to consider. He said that some of the numbers are volatile and difficult to predict. Pension contributions, health insurance, utilities and the state tax cap are outside the district's control and therefore variable and unpredictable.

Mattey asked the Board to help project some of these factors in order to build a long-term plan.

Scott Silberfein asked how accurate the demographers are in estimating future enrollments. Bill Natbony asked if there were educational initiatives or new programs that the administration would like the board to consider.

Dr. Hagerman responded saying, "We're in a time of transition; Lynne Shain has announced her retirement –- that means will have a new curriculum person come in.... We have new spaces that will present opportunities. We talk about 21st century classrooms.... So we need to think about the future in terms of programming and space usage. Are we going to have answers to all of those questions by February 15? I am skeptical. There has to be elasticity that allows us to make changes each year. We have added a significant number of people over the last few years, so we won't have a big wish list this year. And we know we're at the top of our tax levy with the presentation tonight."

Lee Maude and Art Rublin asked Mattey to do two versions of the projection –including a base or optimistic case and a downsize case. Chris Morin suggested that the district employ forecasting tools used by other Westchester-Putnam districts and also form a budget planning committee to assist with finances and forecasting. Morin thought the administration should focus on long-term facilities planning, an area where the district has knowledge, data and control.

The timeline calls for further discussion of the trend analysis and budget parameters at upcoming meetings.

Art Rublin called for the administration to allow time for the community to comment on the proposed budget early on. Scott Silberfein asked that community members be given the opportunity to comment early at meetings so that they don't have to stay until 10 or 11 pm to speak.

Dr. Hagerman commented, "We understand our tax levy amount. We don't anticipate having a lot of FTE (full time employee) recommendations – and those were time consuming.... It's not going to be a complete rollover of the budget, but I don't think there is going to be a lot that will be a surprise to the board. We're not going to ask for what we don't need."

Watch the budgeting discussion here

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Michael Zeller, Amanda Rachlin, Doug Rachlin, Joe Kaufman, Joel Talish, Carol Wolfe, Eldad Blaustein, Josh Glantz, John Needham Next week,...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

When you are the first in your family to go to college, there is already a lot to worry about financially, so it was a huge relief to Nas...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax revaluations in 2014 and 2016, a committee of the Scarsdale Forum stud...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlines this week for his success in freeing a man who had been wrongfully c...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back then, I was an international banking officer covering Asia. I used a ma...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district has hired an assistant principal for Fox Meadow School. Melissa Feinber...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

The Scarsdale Pool Complex will celebrate their 50th Season with a variety of festivities this weekend! All Scarsdale residents are invit...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

On July 11, police Scarsdale Police used “A Child is Missing Alert Program,” in an effort to locate a missing elderly man. The program ge...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

The 2018-19 Board of Education: Left to Right: Bill Natbony, Alison Singer, Nina Cannon, Scott Silberfein, Chris Morin, Pam Fuehrer and L...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

If current trends hold, the Scarsdale School district may have the lowest enrollment in the last ten years when school opens in September...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu¹s of Scarsdale was recently called on to create the centerfold for this year¹s Edible Hudson Valley #Foodporn themed edition. Never ...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

The number of home sales is off for the first half of the year in both Scarsdale and Edgemont.

Reports show that in the Scarsdale School D...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was “scammed” out of $2,000 by a man and woman who claimed to work for Cha...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

With the warm days of summer upon us, we think of barbecues and grilled treats. Enjoy the taste of bbq without the fuss of preparing it y...

Read More

People

SETTING

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

The Scarsdale School District is wasting no time filling two unexpected vacancies at Fox Meadow Elementary School.

In June, both Principal...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids