Homer Central School District presents 2019-2020 budget

Homer High School (Photo courtesy of Village of Homer website)

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Homer Central School District Board of Education would be voting on whether or not to approve the 2019-2020 proposed budget at their next meeting on Tues., Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. We have been informed that the board will only be voting on approving the budget development guidelines, and not the budget itself, at their next meeting. We apologize for the error.

HOMER, N.Y. — At Tuesday night’s Homer Central School District Board of Education meeting, Homer CSD Superintendent Thomas Turck presented the 2019-2020 proposed budget to board members.

The proposed budget for 2019-2020 is currently at $42,055,168, a zero percent change from the previous year. Last night’s meeting covered estimated revenues and expenditures for the upcoming year.

Superintendent Turck, who took over following the retirement of Nancy Ruscio in 2018, said the figures showcased are a “jumping off point” and that the numbers “are certainly going to change over the course of the planning cycle.”

The various sources of estimated revenue outlined at the meeting include $24,225,078 from New York State Aid; $581,000 from “local sources”; $16,235,856 from tax levy/STAR (School Tax Relief); $308,234 in reserves; $25,000 in Medicaid and federal sources; and $680,000 in the school district’s current fund balance.

Superintendent Turck stressed that the expected state aid figure is not yet confirmed, and that the district is still waiting on the governor’s proposal, which they hope to have prior to their next meeting at the end of the month.

The forecasted expenditures for 2019-2020 total $43,248,332, leaving a potential gap of $1,083,164 or a 2.84 percent increase (which includes increases in health insurance and salaries) from the proposed budget. Superintendent Turck also included an estimated $428,904 for the Truxton Charter Academy School. The actual figure will not be known before the budget is adopted due to the unpredictability of the number and timing of students’ possibly transitioning schools. Superintendent Turck told board members he hopes to have families’ intentions to leave Homer CSD by May of 2019.

The Truxton Academy Charter School has been working toward the creation of an elementary public charter school, and their efforts paid off in October of 2018 when the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute voted to grant them a new charter. Registration for the charter school begins this spring, and enrollment will start in the fall of 2019. The Truxton Academy Charter School will reopen the former Hartnett Elementary School building, which was closed in 2015 by the Homer Central School District due to declining enrollment.