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Ossining Superintendent Discusses Highlights Of School Budget

Superintendent of Schools Raymond Sanchez.
Superintendent of Schools Raymond Sanchez. Photo Credit: File

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Superintendant Raymond Sanchez has issued a letter about the school budget.

Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff, and Ossining Community:

Collaboratively with our Board of Education and staff, we have been busy preparing our 2015-2016 budget. Currently, we are working to incorporate the new state aid information that was recently provided to our district. Below we have highlighted some helpful information.

Major highlights of the 2015-2016 budget as of today: the budget focuses on four areas: maintaining educational solvency; upgrading and improving security; ensuring the best use of space; and providing professional learning opportunities for staff. What does the additional state aid mean for Ossining?

Based on the state aid numbers released March 31, we project we can expect an additional $1,472,326 million, which includes an increase of $124,000 in Foundation Aid and $840,000 in restored Gap Elimination Adjustment aid. The remaining increase is due to reconciliation of transportation, BOCES and building expense-based aids. While we are grateful for any increase in aid, the additional $124,000 in Foundation Aid does not fully address the more than $10 million the district is annually underfunded based on the state's formula for Foundation Aid. During the upcoming Board of Education meeting, we will be discussing options for the use of the additional $1.4 million in state aid.

When has the budget been discussed at board meetings so far? To date, we have conducted budget discussions at our Board of Education meetings Jan. 14, Jan. 28, Feb. 25, March 4, March 7 and March 25. When will the budget be discussed at future board meetings? April 21 -- 7:30 p.m.; May 6 -- 7 p.m.; and May 12 -- 7 p.m. All meetings take place in the Ossining High School Library.

Additionally, you can tweet your budget questions at any time to #oufsdbudget15 or e-mail your questions to justask@ossining.k12.ny.us. In the near future, please look for our budget video to be posted on our website and social media sites as well as our Budget O-Gram in your mailbox. Budget Vote As a reminder, our Budget Vote and Board of Education election will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 in the gymnasium.

Sincerely yours, Raymond Sanchez

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