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Budget Information

School Board Election and Budget Vote -  Extended to June 16, 2020

The Auburn Enlarged City School District's annual school board election and budget vote will be held by absentee ballot only. There will be no in-person voting.

Absentee ballots were mailed to all registered voters in the district with a postage-paid return envelope. Click here to view the Qualified Voter List for Absentee Ballots.

Absentee Ballot Voting Outlined
  • Absentee ballots are mailed along with two different envelopes – an oath envelope and a postage-paid return envelope.
  • Votes should be cast on the absentee ballot, and then the ballot must be inserted inside the oath envelope and sealed.
  • Voters need to fill out their name and residence on the front of the oath envelope, and then they need to sign and date the back of the oath envelope.
  • In order for votes to count, the back of the oath envelope must contain a date and the voter’s signature.
  • The oath envelope should then be inserted into the postage-paid return envelope and mailed back.
  • In order to be counted, ballots must be received by mail no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
For information on how absentee ballots are kept confidential, click here.

If you have any questions about the proposed budget, please do not hesitate to contact the board of education or the superintendent’s office at (315) 255-8822 or

Message about the 2020-2021 budget from
School Board President, Kathleen Rhodes

The Auburn Enlarged City School District has two propositions on the ballot this year. The first is a proposal of budget expenditures for the 2020-2021 school year. The second proposes allowing a high school senior to be designated to serve as an ex officio member of the board without the authority to vote or attend executive sessions.

Planning the budget for the 2020-2021 school year has been very complicated. With New York State facing a $15 billion loss in revenue as a result of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy, the revenue loss will certainly impact the amount of aid school districts receive. Governor Cuomo announced in early April that state aid to school districts for the 2020-2021 school year would be frozen at the 2019-2020 levels. However, he added a provision allowing him to be able to reevaluate the budget several times throughout the year and make changes to aid allotments if necessary. In addition, he has indicated in many of his daily press briefings that he may need to cut school aid by 20 percent unless the federal government can provide some sort of aid to states. The first reevaluation period ended on April 30, but the state has yet to release any revised budget numbers, so the district has been forced to plan a budget without knowing the amount of state aid it will receive.

Because no aid has been officially cut, the Auburn School District is proposing a budget that is based on the original aid amounts the governor released in early April and does not take a potential 20 percent cut into consideration. The proposed budget expenditures for the 2020-2021 school year are $80,725,559, which is up 2.3 percent, or $1.8 million, from 2019-2020 due to inflation and other rising costs. To account for rising costs, the district will need to incorporate additional cost saving measures, as well as utilize $1,047,897 of the district reserves.

The 2020-2021 proposed budget includes a net reduction of 21 staff positions through a combination of retirements, resignations and layoffs, but the district will be able to maintain the programs our community values for our students, as long as there are no additional cuts to the amount of state aid the district receives. Because the budget does not account for a potential 20 percent cut in state aid, which equates to approximately $6.3 million for Auburn, there is a possibility that the district may need to lay off several more positions during the summer months and even throughout the school year if the governor cuts additional aid to schools. The district is choosing to remain optimistic and hold out hope that the federal government will offer a stimulus package to offset any additional deficits due to any cuts to state aid.

This year’s proposed budget will also include a 1.67 percent tax levy increase, which is within the tax cap limit set by New York State. On a $100,000 home, that equates to an increase of $31 annually for taxpayers with no STAR exemption, $22 annually for taxpayers with Basic STAR exemptions, and $9 annually for taxpayers with Enhanced STAR exemptions. 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 2020-2021 proposed budget, a simple majority of voters is needed to approve the budget.

In addition to the two propositions the community is being asked to vote on, there is also the school board elections. There are three open school board positions for the 2020-2021 school year, and each position holds a three-year term. The four candidates running are Eli Hernandez, Patrick Mahunik, Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson, and Joseph Sheppard. Hernandez, Overstreet-Wilson, and Sheppard all currently serve on the board and are running for reelection, while Mahunik is a newcomer running for election.

In order to be counted, all completed absentee ballots must be received by mail no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

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

June 2020 Maroon Monthly - Budget Edition

Click the icon below to read about the budget propositions and more.

Meet the 2020-2021 School Board Candidates

Eli Hernández Eli Hernández is running for a third term on the Board of Education. He has been living in Auburn for the past 20 years with his wife Rina. His son Enrique will be attending AHS and his daughter, Mariela will be at AJHS. Eli was a Spanish teacher for the Auburn Enlarged City School District from 2000 to 2010. While there, he created a chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society, he served as cross country, indoor, and outdoor track and field coach, and was the Spanish Club Advisor. Mr. Hernandez currently serves as the principal of Delaware Primary School in the Syracuse City School District, where he is building a bilingual school. Mr. Hernández earned his Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College in March 2020. Eli’s professional experience as a teacher, administrator and community leader have enhanced his contributions to the school board and he believes he can continue to make a positive impact as a board member.
Patrick Mahunik
Patrick Mahunik, a proud graduate of Auburn High School, resides in the city of Auburn with his wife, Amy Mahunik, and their five children. Matthew (21) and Patrick, Jr. (19) have graduated from Auburn High School; and Connor (17), Ryan (15) and Emma (12) are current students in Auburn schools. Patrick holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Building and School District Leadership. Patrick has been an educator for 23 years. He has worked as a middle school Social Studies teacher for 11 years and a school administrator for 12 years. During his tenure he has created Central New York’s first project-based learning school, Innovation Tech, at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES; has developed programs to ensure student success in area school districts; and is currently the acting Director of Secondary Education at Newfield Central School District. Patrick has served as a Cayuga County Legislator for twelve years serving as Minority Leader, Chairman of Health and Human Services, Chairman of Judicial and Public Safety, Chairman of the Ways and Means committee, Deputy Chairman and was selected to be the Chairman of the Cayuga County Legislature in 2018. In his role as Chairman of the Legislature and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee he was directly involved in developing and overseeing the Cayuga County budgets of up to 150 million dollars and regularly collaborated with state and federal level elected officials. He also served on numerous boards, including the Cayuga/ Seneca Action Agency Programs, the Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees, and President and coach of Auburn CYO basketball. He looks forward to the opportunity of continuing his public service as a member of the Auburn Board of Education.
Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson is currently the Executive Director at Westminster Manor. Rhoda is a community activities and child advocate. Rhoda is active on several community boards. She is the board president for Booker T Washington Community Center, Vice President for the Auburn Chapter of the NAACP, and is Human Rights Commissioner for Auburn. Rhoda began her doctoral studies in the Executive Leadership in Education program at St. John Fisher College in the summer of 2017; Rhoda successfully defended her dissertation Spring 2020. Rhoda Is married to Roy Wilson and has two children, Jahmere and Dejuan Wilson.
Joseph Sheppard Joseph Sheppard (Current School Board Vice President): My name is Joe Sheppard. I grew up in the city of Auburn, graduating from Auburn High School with the Class of 1998. I moved back to the area with my wife, Kristan (AHS Class of ‘99) and two children a little less than 6 years ago after going to school and working in various theatres in cities across the Country from Minneapolis to Miami, to D.C. We moved back to the area in order to give our children the same great opportunities that we had growing up in this great community. This desire is also what led me to running for a seat on the Auburn Board of Education three years ago. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the students, staff and community of the Auburn Enlarged City School district over the past three years, and I look forward to continuing this service. During my time as a member of this board, I have learned a great deal regarding the complexities of how a school district runs and I welcome the challenge of utilizing and growing this knowledge further in the challenging years that no doubt lie ahead.

Past School Board Election and Budget Vote Information:
Polling Places (Open 7:00am - 9:00pm):
Casey Park Elementary            School Legislative District 10
Owasco Elementary School      ASD Residents in the Town of Owasco
Seward Elementary School       Legislative Districts 12, 13, 14, 15 and
                                                  ASD Residents in the Town of Fleming
Auburn Junior High School        Legislative District 11 and
                                                   ASD Residents in the Town of Sennett
Individuals who previously voted at West Middle School will now vote at Seward Elementary School.
        Not sure of where to vote? Please call (315) 255-8850 or (315) 255-8822, or use the link above to look up your polling location by street address.
        Look up your polling location by street address here!

Absentee Ballots:

Qualified school district voters who are unable to vote in person may vote by absentee ballot. To receive an absentee ballot, individuals must fill out an application for the ballot. An absentee ballot can be downloaded from this page, or you can call (315) 255-8850 or (315) 255-8822 to obtain one.
Complete the application and return it to:
Michelle Major, District Clerk
Harriet Tubman Administration Building
78 Thornton Avenue
Auburn, NY 13021

If you have any questions or concerns about the district's budget, please do not hesitate to contact us at (315) 255-8800.
Prospective School Board Member Information
If you are considering running for the AECSD Board of Education, please download the booklet "Running for the School Board" from the New York State School Boards Association. Here you will find what all prospective school board members should know about their eligibility, campaigning, responsibilities and commitment to public education. The English and Spanish versions are under Downloads below.
Superintendent: Jeffrey Pirozzolo
Phone: 315.255.8800
Address: 78 Thornton Avenue | Auburn, NY 13021