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Auburn’s 2019-2020 school budget in a nutshell

(May 8, 2019) - The Auburn Enlarged City School District’s annual school board election and budget vote is Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Voters will have the opportunity to vote on school board seats as well as the district’s 2019-2020 proposed budget.

There are three open school board positions for the 2019-2020 school year, and each position holds a three-year term. The candidates running are William Andre, who has been on the board for 18 years, Jeff Gasper, who has been on the board for 3 years, and newcomers Brianne Neabel and Danielle Wood.

The proposed budget expenditures of the Auburn Enlarged City School District for the 2019-2020 school year are $78,930,561, which is up 3.3 percent, or $2.5 million, from 2018-2019. Though the amount of foundation aid the district will be receiving from New York State increased by $991,000, it is still substantially below the amount of aid our district should be receiving according to the State’s flawed foundation aid formula. Therefore, the district still needs to incorporate additional cost saving measures and utilize $2.015 million of the district reserves in order to avoid another deficit. In addition, this budget will also include a 2.23 percent tax levy increase, which is within the tax cap limit set by New York State.

The 2019-2020 budget does include some staffing reductions, but all reductions will be achieved through retirements, and there will be no programming cuts. The staffing reductions include two general education elementary teacher positions and one combined Art/AIS teacher position moving to a full time elementary art teacher position.

The Auburn Enlarged City School District does its best to ensure that it provides high-quality curriculum and instruction that meets the unique needs of each student while not overspending. Auburn spends $18,273 per pupil, which is $6,439 less than the New York State average per pupil spending and $3,594 less than similar schools spend per pupil.

With the 2019-2020 proposed budget, the district will be able to maintain programs that our community values. There will continue to be six instructional teams at Auburn Junior High School, Project Lead the Way Engineering and Biomedical programs at Auburn High School, Project Lead the Way Gateway programming at Auburn Junior High School, technology instruction at all elementary schools, AP and Cayuga Advantage courses at Auburn High School, and all extracurricular sports and music programs district-wide. In addition, the district will be able to add programming with this proposed budget. Additional programming includes Project Lead the Way AP Computer Science at Auburn High School, computer literacy instruction at Auburn Junior High School, and expanded reading instruction and support in all elementary schools.

If a school district’s proposed tax levy increase is within the “tax cap” set by the state, as is the case with Auburn’s 2019-2020 proposed budget, a simple majority of voters is needed to approve the budget. If voters reject the proposed budget, the school board may put up the same budget or a revised budget for a second vote, or the board can adopt a contingency budget with a tax levy no greater than what was levied the previous year. If voters do not approve the budget at the second vote, the school district has to adopt a contingent budget with the same tax levy as the prior year.

The Auburn School District has proposed tax levy increases within its “tax cap” limits for six years. For the 2019-20 school year, the district’s proposed property tax levy increase to be voted on at the May 21 budget vote is 2.23 percent. On a $100,000 home, that equates to an increase of $41 annually for taxpayers with no STAR exemption or Enhanced STAR exemption and $51 annually for taxpayers with Basic STAR exemptions. Taxpayers who qualify for Basic or Enhanced STAR exemptions will still be eligible to receive the tax cap rebate checks from New York State.

If you have any questions about the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year, please do not hesitate to contact the Board of Education or the Superintendent’s office at (315) 255-8822 or budget@aecsd.education.

Thank you for your continued support of the Auburn Enlarged City School District’s educational programming. We constantly strive to ensure that we provide high quality curriculum and instruction and learning environments that meet the unique needs of each of our students.

Kathy Rhodes
Board of Education President
Auburn Enlarged City School District
Superintendent: Jeffrey Pirozzolo
Phone: 315.255.8800
Address: 78 Thornton Avenue | Auburn, NY 13021