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Budget Information

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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339

518.993.4000

 

 
 

Information about the school budget

2015-16 Budget Development News

Voters approved the $19 million budget for the 2015-16 school year on May 19, 176 to 25.

This budget represents a spending increase of $200,000, or 1.06 percent, and a tax levy increase of zero percent. Find out more here.

Fort Plain CSD 2015-16 Budget Newsletter mailed to all district residents

The Fort Plain Central School District 2015-16 Budget Newsletter can also be viewed here.

The Fort Plain Central School District 2015-16 Budget Notice can be viewed here.

Fort Plain BOE adopts 2015-16 budget proposal

The Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education adopted the $19,000,000 school budget proposal for 2015-16 on April 15. The proposed plan reflects an increase of 1.06 percent – or $200,000 - in spending over the current year and carries a tax levy increase of zero percent. The proposal will be put before voters on May 19. Read more here.

LEGAL NOTICE:
Notice of Budget Hearing, Vote, and Election

To the qualified voters of the Fort Plain Central School District, Fort Plain, NY: NOTICE is hereby given that the Public Hearing on the School District Budget for the 2015-2016 school year will be held in the Jr. Sr. High School Auditorium on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Read the complete notice here.

District Superintendent Doug Burton urges Senator Amedore and Assemblyman Santabarbara to sign a bill to end GEA

"The GEA has had devastating effects on the students of Fort Plain Central School District since it was introduced in 2010-2011," he states in his letter. "We have had to cut both staff and programs and that has continued to erode the educational opportunities for our children."  READ THE ENTIRE LETTER HERE.

Gov. Cuomo calls for $1.1 billion school aid increase and education reforms, with no mention of the GEA

Posted Feb. 3, 2015

According to language in the Governor’s proposed budget bill, if the Legislature does not enact the education reforms he outlined, districts will not see an increase in state aid next year or the year after. READ MORE

Update: No aid increase for next two years unless Legislature approves Cuomo’s proposal

According to language in Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget bill, if the Legislature does not enact the education reforms the Governor outlined in his budget address on Wednesday, Jan. 21, districts will not receive any aid greater than their 2014-15 amount for each of the next two years.

Complicating matters for districts, the Division of Budget announced that it would not be releasing school aid runs until the Legislature passes the Governor’s education reform agenda. The aid runs are usually released within hours of the Governor’s budget presentation.

The reforms Cuomo proposed include an overhaul of the existing teacher evaluation law, more stringent tenure requirements, funding to expand preschool programs, lifting the cap on charter schools, and a new turnaround process for the state’s lowest performing schools.
In all, the $1.1 billion school aid increase includes just more than $1 billion in new school aid, $25 million for expanded preschool programs, and $25 million for other education reforms.
The Executive Budget Proposal now heads to the state legislature for consideration. A final state budget is expected by April 1, 2015.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara rallies together with Fort Plain and Amsterdam School Districts
Together, they ask for an end to the Gap Elimination Adjustment

Posted Jan. 6, 2015

Since its inception in 2011, the Gap Elimination Adjustment has cost over $4 million in lost revenue for Fort Plain. In a district with an annual budget of approximately $18 million, this loss of funding has translated into a 22 percent reduction in staff over the years along with program cut-backs.

“Public schools are being asked to do more and more but without funding to back it up,” said Superintendent Douglas Burton. “We don’t anticipate recovering the lost funds, but we do expect the unfair distribution of funding to end.” (full story)

 

2014-15 Budget News

Voters approve 2014-15 Fort Plain budget

Fort Plain Central School District residents voted in support of the district’s 2014-15 school budget Tuesday by a vote of 235 to 52. The approved $18.8 million plan calls for a year-to-year spending decrease of 2.59 percent and decreases taxes by 3 percent. (full story).

To see a PDF of the budget, click here. To see a PDF of the budget newsletter, click here.

Budget 2014-15
Watch a video on the Gap Elimination Adjustment

The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), which is essentially an annual aid “take back” by the state to balance the state budget, has significantly reduced the total amount of state aid Fort Plain has received since 2010-2011. Please see the video here. To learn about the problems facing public schools, click here to watch a video. To visit the Statewide School Finance Consortium, click here

Budget 2014-15
Aid Increases, GEA Remains in Governor’s Budget Proposal

The state investment in schools would increase by $807 million or 3.8 percent next year if enacted as outlined in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget. The increase includes funding that the governor has earmarked for the launch of several new education initiatives. Locally, the Fort Plain Central School District would see a 4.31 increase in state aid under his proposal. (full story)

Budget 2014-15
Fort Plain Board of Education receives recommendations for three new staff members for 2014-15 school year

As the Fort Plain Central School District begins constructing its budget for the 2014-15 school year, the Board of Education received recommendations from administrators during its regular meeting on Jan. 8. to add three new staff members for the 2014-15 school year. (full story

Past Budget Information

2013-14 budget

Fort Plain Central School District residents voted in support of the district’s 2013-14 school budget Tuesday by a vote of 180to 82. The approved $19.3 million plan calls for 3.76 percent spending increase from the 2012-13 budget and a tax levy increase of 0.95 percent. (full story). To see a PDF of the budget brochure, click here.

2012-13 budget

The Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education unanimously adopted the $18,600,000 school budget for 2012-13 on May 15. The spending plan called for a year-to-year spending increase of 2.48 percent, and carried a tax levy increase of 0.99 percent. To see the story about the budget click here. To see a copy of the budget brochure, click here. Also, here is a copy of the Legal Budget Vote Notice.

What are the realities of school budgeting?


     REALITY #1 is that much of a school budget is “untouchable.” For example, a school district cannot cut courses that are required for graduation, eliminate services that are mandated by the state and federal governments or reduce benefits that have been negotiated as part of an employee contract. There are also some parts of the budget that are fully state aidable, such as textbooks and library books. Reducing those lines would only result in a cut in revenues and would save little or nothing for local taxpayers.

       REALITY #2 is that most of the money spent in education is on “people costs.” Every program the district offers, every service it provides, and every task it carries out on behalf of students requires people to do the actual work. That means if school districts are to cut their costs by a substantial amount, they can not avoid cutting people – which not only hurts those whose positions have been eliminated but also adds to the country’s unemployment problems.

       REALITY #3 is that some cuts look good on paper but don’t work out in practice. For example, the elimination of one teaching position can in some cases do more than just raise class sizes. In a district as small as Fort Plain, it can actually make it impossible to schedule every student into their required courses.