Red Jacket Schools
Together We Get Results!
Dear Parents and Guardians:
On May 19, 2015 from 8:00am to 9:00pm in the high school auditorium foyer, our community will have the opportunity to vote on the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District’s operational budget. Despite more than a $700,000 reduction in State Aid from 2008-2009 to the 2014-2015 school year, a 1.9% levy increase the past two years, and ever-rising costs of utilities, fuel, materials, pensions, health insurance, workers’ compensation, contractual salaries, and programs and services, Red Jacket remains a very competitive school district. According to 2014 data reported by Business First, Red Jacket Schools ranked in the top third for K-12 academic performance out of 429 public school districts in 48 Upstate New York counties based on four years of assessment data.
Although we get results, there has been a cost to our children from State Aid reductions! We have responded by improving efficiencies, making program and staffing cuts and aggressively advocating for equitable, sustainable funding from the state for Red Jacket. The 2014-2015 Budget of $15,992,000 allowed the District to maintain programming and services and restore two secondary teaching positions, English and Social Studies, to full-time status. A 2015-2016 Budget of $16,615,700 will allow the District to maintain the restorations we made over the past two years (Technology teacher, English teacher, Social Studies teacher, support staff person, and modified sports) and it will allow us to restore business management and Committee on Special Education (CSE/CPSE) Chairperson services in the upcoming school year. The Board of Education has released $190,000 from the bus reserve to allow us to replace one small gas bus and one full-size diesel bus pending voter approval.
On March 31st, we received our State Aid Projections, and based on the projections,we are asking the community to support a 1.2% levy increase instead of the 1.9% we anticipated needing. With $450,000 in GEA aid restoration from the state, we are expected to have $254,000 in GEA state aid yet to be restored to our District from the 2009-2010 state aid reduction. Thank you for your continued support of Red Jacket Schools. Your help advocating for public school funding, and funding for Red Jacket in particular, is making a difference!
If our operational budget is voted down and we go to a contingent budget, we will need to reduce the budget by $86,794 and remove non-state aided equipment, school supplies, and charge a fee to the community for use of District facilities. We would also be required to reduce our English and Social Studies teachers from full-time back to part-time status and eliminate a support staff position (positions we were able to restore) in the upcoming school year.
A 1.2% increase on the levy is $86,794. What this means to a home owner with a basic star exemption, whose home is valued at $100,000, is an annual increase of approximately $23.10 per year based on the 2014-2015 District property assessments. This amount is about the cost of one sheet pizza or less than 7 cents a day.
Please remind your friends, neighbors, and community family members to come out and vote on the school budget on May 19th from 8:00am to 9:00pm. If at least one parent or guardian from each household voted on May 19th, we would have approximately 900 voters! Please, vote and encourage voting on Tuesday, May 19th!
Not going to be in town? Not a problem. Contact Kim Brown in the District Office at 289-3964 or email her at Kim.Brown@redjacket.org and request an absentee ballot.
For more information on the Operational Budget, Capital Project, and Energy Performance Project, or to learn more about how Red Jacket Schools has demonstrated fiscal responsibility, please visit our website at www.redjacket.org
I would like to thank all of our students, parents, and community members for working in partnership to support quality education and promoting and believing in the integrity of our mission.
With Red Jacket Pride,
Superintendent of Schools