From the Superintendent's Desk

Dear C-R families --

I’d like to provide an update on our 2020-21 school budget. As you’re undoubtedly aware, the global Coronavirus pandemic is both a public-health crisis and an economic crisis. Although we don’t yet fully know what the financial consequences will be, we can say with certainty that the impact on our budget will be significant.   


Of course, in building next year’s budget, the board of education and I continue to be guided by our district’s mission, vision, core beliefs, and strategic plan. We maintain a laser-like focus on student achievement, opportunity, equity, enrichment, and academic rigor, even as we confront significant challenges.


Our district, like most, is primarily funded by aid from the state and property taxes paid by our residents. We know both of those revenue sources will be adversely affected by the pandemic. 


The state budget adopted by lawmakers earlier this month imposed a “freeze” on our primary source of state aid. In addition, this year’s state budget imposes four “look-back” periods that will allow the state to further reduce funding for schools, healthcare, and other vital services based on the degree to which the state is meeting (or not meeting!) its revenue targets.

That means we must, as a district, be prepared for mid-year cuts during the 2020-21 school year. At the same time, we know that many of our already burdened taxpayers are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.


While our work on next year’s budget is far from complete, our pathway to a balanced budget is becoming increasingly evident. Next year’s budget will require significant sacrifice.  I want to preview some of the steps we are taking now (and will be taking next year) to close significant gaps between projected expenses and revenues.

Steps We Are Taking Now and in Next Year’s Budget

  • We are instituting a freeze on all new purchasing and most new hires for the remainder of this school year. 

  • We are recommending that at least 9 full-time positions be eliminated from next year’s budget. At this point, we anticipate that the position reductions will come in areas where there are existing or planned vacancies

  • We are recommending significant reductions for materials, supplies, equipment, conferences, travel, and vendor contracts.

  • We are strategically using funds from our district’s savings to offset losses in state aid in next year’s budget. 

I share this information with you in the spirit of transparency---and in the hopes that you will better understand the challenges our district will face as the pandemic ends (soon, I hope) and recovery begins.


With social distancing guidelines still in place in New York, all school budget votes and board of education elections have been suspended until at least June 1. Our plan is to present a budget for board consideration (and eventual adoption) in early May and “stand ready” for guidance from the state on when and how voters will participate in this year’s process.


While our challenges are great, so too are our resources. Here at Cobleskill-Richmondville, our most valuable resource is our people---the dedicated teachers, administrators, and support staff who are committed to our mission-guided work to educate, inspire, and empower the students we serve. 

We also continue to be tremendously appreciative of the support from our community during this very challenging time. Although we are in the midst of an extended closure, we remain committed to serving our students and families. Please feel free to contact us by phone (518-234-4032) or email (information@crcsd.org) if we can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Carl J. Mummenthey

Superintendent of Schools