Dear BCSD Families and Community Members:
We are proud to present to the Board of Education and Community the Bedford Central School District 2017-18 proposed Budget. Our overarching budget development goals are to design a fiscally responsible budget that meets the educational needs of our students, meets the operational and fiscal needs of our school district and community, and promotes accountability and transparency.
BCSD’s Mission, as articulated by the 2016-17 BCSD Community Strategic Planning Committee is to cultivate curiosity and a passion for learning by providing challenging educational opportunities for all students so they may achieve their full potential as productive and contributing members of society. The Strategic Planning Committee articulated our obligations in fiscal and budgetary planning, which are:
To place students first in all decisions, actions, and procedures.
To be responsible for meeting present needs, as well as planning for the future.
To respect all school-community stakeholders.
To be transparent, clear, balanced, prudent, and as simple as possible.
BCSD endured significant and unprecedented reductions in programs and services for the 2016-17 budget year. In summary, BCSD:
Lost 52 positions.
Eliminated the provision of an elementary librarian in each school. We now have one librarian for five elementary schools.
Cut teacher aides, safety monitors, and clerical support.
Increased class sizes across the district, and exceeded our own BoE Policy Guidelines for Elementary Class Sizes in grades 2-5.
Cut teachers in numerous areas.
Cut important administrative positions which worked directly with students, parents and teachers to maintain safe and well-run buildings.
Sustained significant reductions to professional development for staff.
Cut supplies and equipment to support teaching and learning.
Reduced other areas of programs and services.
In order to move forward, we must fully understand the past and what we lost as a District. We have worked to describe the impacts of these reductions for 2016-17 here:
There are Six Principles which guided the development of this 2017-18 BCSD budget:
Work to maintain curricular and instructional programs:
Minimal changes in staffing levels with offsets where possible.
Continue to provide internal professional development while maintaining reduction of contracted and paid professional development.
Limit projected expense increases to:
Triborough increase for unsettled employment contracts.
Regional health care cost increase trend (currently 8%).
Achieve compliance with state and/or federally mandated programs with minimal additions to staffing or other costs.
Work to maximize operational efficiencies.
Build budget to allowable NY State Property Tax Cap increase.
Work to maximize State Aid.
Continually seek efficiencies to bring in expenses under budget.
Build in operational contingencies for unanticipated expenditures.
2017-18 BCSD Budget Highlights
The proposed "Superintendent's Budget":
Complies with NYS property tax levy cap legislation.
Preserves all existing regular & special education programs, as well as extracurricular and athletic programs.
Reverses the trend of relying on unassigned fund balance to balance future years’ budgets.
Increases unassigned fund balance rather than decreases it.
Complies with elementary class size policy guidelines given current enrollment projections using 5-year cohort survival (as of enrollment calculations at this time).
Begins to restore cuts deemed unsustainable.
Incorporates efficiencies and improvements in operations and budget management/oversight.
Here we present the 2017-18 Preliminary Superintendent's Budget Book:
2017-18 "Budget Book"
The 2017-18 BCSD budget does not rely on unassigned fund balance to strike a balanced budget for 2017-18. We as an organization have weaned ourselves off that cyclical and detrimental practice. In fact: In 2013-14, BCSD relied on $3,550,000 of unassigned fund balance. In 2014-15, BCSD relied on $3,000,000 of unassigned fund balance. In 2015-16, BCSD relied on $2,600,000 of unassigned fund balance. In 2016-17, BCSD did not rely on unassigned anticipated fund balance in the budget. The 2017-18, the BCSD budget will not rely on unassigned fund balance. It should be noted that BoE Policy allows and encourages the use of assigned reserves in upcoming budgets; this was done in all the aforementioned budgets. At this time, the administration is working hard to, and actually anticipates,under-spending the 2016-17 budget, thus allowing for the growth of unassigned fund balance to more healthy levels. Please note this is a preliminary estimate, and can change based on circumstances of the district. Tough choices and fiscal discipline were responsible for this achievement; however, the result is a noteworthy one.
The 2017-18 BCSD budget does not rely on unassigned fund balance to strike a balanced budget for 2017-18. We as an organization have weaned ourselves off that cyclical and detrimental practice. In fact:
In 2013-14, BCSD relied on $3,550,000 of unassigned fund balance.
In 2014-15, BCSD relied on $3,000,000 of unassigned fund balance.
In 2015-16, BCSD relied on $2,600,000 of unassigned fund balance.
In 2016-17, BCSD did not rely on unassigned anticipated fund balance in the budget.
The 2017-18, the BCSD budget will not rely on unassigned fund balance.
It should be noted that BoE Policy allows and encourages the use of assigned reserves in upcoming budgets; this was done in all the aforementioned budgets. At this time, the administration is working hard to, and actually anticipates,under-spending the 2016-17 budget, thus allowing for the growth of unassigned fund balance to more healthy levels. Please note this is a preliminary estimate, and can change based on circumstances of the district. Tough choices and fiscal discipline were responsible for this achievement; however, the result is a noteworthy one.
Several fiscal tools were developed and utilized to assist in designing the 2017-18 BCSD budget.
Position Control: The District developed a robust tool to enable the Superintendent and Business office to "drill down" to specific programs to identify the cost of such programs. This tool allows the District to continually understand and monitor program costs. The tool will also allow us to respond with accuracy to inquiries from the Board of Education and public.
Position Analysis: The District developed a tool to allow the Board, the community, and the District to fully understand the full scope of positions employed by BCSD. The tool promotes transparency. It is delineated by bargaining unit, or non-aligned personnel categories. The tool defines specific job descriptions and allows us to understand how many individuals are employed in each job description, and to where individuals within job descriptions are assigned. Furthermore, the tool allows us to understand specific duties assigned to individuals assigned to similar job descriptions. This tool is critical to understanding the the complexity of our very large organization.
Budget Advisory Committee Dashboard: This tool allows us to understand the fiscal health of our budget in a quick snapshot. It also has allowed us to convey to our Budget Advisory Committee the status of the current year's budget at a point in time.
What is in the budget, and what is not?
The 2017-18 budget includes the following restorations and additions (salary only):
3 Elementary Teachers to bring class sizes to BoE Policy Guidelines
1.5 Librarians - Reinstated Positions: $120,000
Brings BCSD to 2.5 Elementary Librarians
1 Contingency position to be utilized to meet program and students needs
Restructure of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services Leadership:
K-12 Director of Special Education (Note: Splitting Dir. of SE/PPS back to a Dir. of SE and a Dir. of PPS)
Director of Pupil Personnel Services Reinstatement: $165,369
K-12 Supervisor of Special Education: $151,122 - New Position
Elementary Special Education Coordinators (1.5) - Existing Positions
Secondary Special Education Coordinator - Existing Position
SE Transition Coordinator, .5 FTE: $38,500 - New Position
Transition Job Coach: $38,500 - New Position (Note: Currently have two.)
Assistive Technology (2 x .5) - Existing Positions to be restructured
Attendance/Residency Services: $30,000 - Contractual services
Demographic Study, Spring 2018: $15,000
The budget includes the following reductions/efficiencies:
Equalize building ratios of non-mandated aides and seek efficiencies: (4 FTE) ($216,700).
Reduction of 1 Elementary Consulting Teacher
Elementary Special Ed. Coordinator .5 ($50,000)
Part of Restructure: Leaves 1.5 FTE Elementary Special Ed/CPSE Coordinators and 1 FTE Secondary SE Coordinator; corresponding ADD of a K-12 SE Supervisor
The budget reductions of previous years have eroded programs to a substantive degree. All these previous reductions cannot be solved or addressed in one year’s budget. We must turn the corner and get on the road to fiscal health and sustainability. This budget accomplished this key objective. For a list of previously reduced unmet needs in this 2017-18 budget, please see the 2017-18 Superintendent’s Budget Presentation on our district website.
Long-range (5-year) Planning
The BCSD leadership team has begun the process of goal-setting and short and long-term planning to achieve such goals. The 2017-18 BCSD budget implements strategies to move the organization closer to our goals. Aligned to the planning efforts are financial forecasting models based upon assumptions. This financial document is a dynamic and living document which is frequently modified due to organizational and broader external factors which must be considered to meet the needs of our students Federal and State requirements and regulations. A full long range financial model is presented in the budget book.
Five-Year Projection of BCSD Fund Balance
Projected Fund Balance
% of Budget
What does this mean?
Note that fund balance begins to decrease again in 2019.
This model assumes we spend right to our budget each year.
Disciplined budget monitoring, practices, and continued innovative budget solutions can help continue change this trajectory in the right direction for the future.This is a multi-year approach.
It is also necessary to bring expenses in line with revenue generation capacity to help this trend continue in the positive direction, and in a more rapid manner.
While this year's budget provides the opportunities to meet some critical needs in terms of restorations and restructuring, it is far from the ideal. This budget does not meet all needs identified to provide necessary services and experiences for students. If we continue on a path of fiscal discipline, we will work to restore and meet these needs in future budgets. Additionally, we have been actively and aggressively working with our legislators to provide BCSD's fair share of State Aid to meet some of these needs. Here are some areas of need not provided in this budget:
Student Assistance Counselor (previously funded through Bullet aid or grant funding)
Librarians (2.5 would bring us back to one per elementary school).
Additional ESOL teachers to meet expanding program needs.
Teaching positions to expand High School electives.
Additional Tiered Support Teachers to support struggling learners.
Additional Teaching Positions to provide Enrichment opportunities for students.
Additional Elementary Music position(s) to reinstate frequency of elementary instrumental music lessons.
Reinstatement of Middle School Intramural Programs.
Transportation enhancements to provide flexibility and improved routing.
Capital Expenses and Improvements to meet facilities improvement needs.
Additional SAC Support (both MS and HS)
In the case that the budget is not approved by the electorate, this is a link to the 2017-18 proposed Contingency Budget.
In summary, we are pleased to offer a budget to the Board of Education and Community that is at the allowable NY State Property Tax Cap, limits spending to anticipated revenue growth, meets State and Federal mandates, does not further cut programs and services for students, does not rely on unassigned fund balance to balance the budget, maximizes our receipt of State aid through smart reporting of data and use of BOCES aidable services, and plans for the growth of unassigned fund balance to more healthy levels. This budget places BCSD on the path to fiscal health and our continued ability to provide some of the best educational programs and services in the Nation.
Dr. Christopher M. Manno
Superintendent of Schools
Fox Lane Campus
P.O. Box 180
Mt. Kisco, New York
Inspiring and challenging our students.
Links to key budget documents and resources:
Superintendent's 2017-18 Budget Presentation, provided to the Board of Education and Community on February 28, 2017.
2017-18 "Budget Book"
Position Analysis 2017-18 (new tool) - please note this tool is under construction; it is complex and in development
Certified Bedford Teachers Association
Certified Bedford Association of Supervisors and Administrators