Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Money Trail

Good Morning-

If you are following school budgets you have recently heard two things. For starters, you have heard that New York State has "won" Race to the Top funding from the Federal Government. You have also heard that schools are set to receive additional funds through the Federal Jobs Fund. You would think that this would mean loads and loads of cash for schools and that we are out of the woods financially. While the infusion of money will be helpful, it is important to explain just exactly how much money we are talking about.

With the Race to the Top funding West Genesee stands to gain approximately $75K of the $700M that is being made available to New York State. That $75K MUST be used to pay for programming, materials, equipment, or supply items that work toward the Race to the Top goal of increasing student achievement through accountability and use of data. My opinion would be that even though we are only receiving $75K, the new Commissioner David Steiner really needs the State's share of the money to advance his goals for increased student achievement and I can't fault him for working every angle he can to make that happen.

The Federal Jobs Fund, or whatever title you will hear it called, is money being made available from the Federal government to help, again, with preventing layoffs in schools. A quick uneducated glance at the money being made available to West Genesee indicates that we might receive as much as $1.7M in additional funding. A closer study of the figures shows that the estimates that the state is using for transportation and BOCES aid (two types of aid categories that can be accurately tracked) are over-estimated for our District. We are concluding that we will probably receive approximately $700K in additional state aid when all is said and done. We had projected to receive an additional $500K in revenue this year which makes our projection "whole" and will leave us with approximately $200K-$300K in additional revenue that we will be using to pay for support personnel that we have had to add as a result of the Commissioner's new "cut-score" initiative. 

If for some reason we receive more than we have calculated, we will factor that money in for next year so that we can try to avoid any additional non-enrollment related layoffs.

Diligence, sound fiscal planning, and being realistic will continue to help us to navigate our fiscal challenges.

Enough of that boring stuff; time to go watch some Fall practices and Marching Band!