Presentations Begin for 2023-24 Budget


Presentations Begin for 2023-24 Budget

February 8, 2023

2023-24 Budget Development graphic

The budget presentations for the Warwick Valley Central School District for the 2023-24 fiscal year began on Thursday, February 2, 2023. During the Board of Education meeting, Dr. David Leach, Superintendent of Schools, reviewed the budget development process, the state aid from New York, and a comprehensive demographics study forecasting student enrollment.

Dr. Leach reviewed the budget development process, which involves a comprehensive analysis of programs and offerings for the upcoming school year and a close examination of projected expenses and revenues. The district will calculate the tax cap threshold using data from the state, and by April 1, the legislature will finalize the state budget. Afterward, the district will finalize its budget and proposed tax levy, which will be presented to voters on May 16.

Last week, Governor Hochul proposed her executive budget, which calls for the full funding of state foundation aid – a component of state aid provided to school districts. Dr. Leach expressed excitement about the restoration of the foundation aid, stating, “This year state foundation aid will be fully funded for the first time in a long, long time. It’s great. It’s wonderful. But I want to remind us all that it is the restoration of the foundation aid that we should have had for many years.” The net increase in NYS aid, approximately $4.3 million, is especially important during the district’s current financial challenges posed by inflation.

Approximately 30% of the district’s revenue is generated from state aid, with Dr. Leach emphasizing that the district’s foundation aid is still much lower compared to other area school districts due to the state’s wealth ratio calculation. In addition to state aid, the district also utilizes revenue from appropriated reserves ($2.5 million) and non-tax sources such as tuition and building rentals ($4 million), which have been critical during financial difficulties when increases in the tax levy and state aid were not enough to cover expenses. However, Dr. Leach warned of the need to exercise caution when using reserves to balance the budget. He emphasized the importance of balancing short-term needs with long-term financial sustainability when considering the use of reserves, as using too much of the reserves in the present could negatively impact the district’s financial situation in the future.

The majority of the district’s revenue, 63%, comes from the school tax levy. Over the past seven years, the average annual increase in the tax levy has been 1.38%, but with no increase in 2021-22 and a decrease of 0.37% (-0.37%) in 2022-23. Given the current inflationary climate, Dr. Leach stated that it is unlikely the district can maintain this trend without making substantial budget reductions.

When making budget reductions, the district must take into account various constraints, including legal requirements, funding sources, and collective bargaining agreements, while also considering the priorities of the community and preserving basic operations, legal requirements, and important programs and services.

Dr. Leach emphasized that school closures or declining enrollment are no longer viable options for balancing the budget, as enrollment projections for the next decade are strong. In fact, he pointed out that the district currently has about 1,000 more students than anticipated a decade ago.

“Reducing expenditures due to declining enrollment is no longer a viable option in Warwick Valley,” he said.

Information regarding the 2023-2024 School Budget will be posted on the district website as it becomes available during the budget development process at The two presentations from Thursday are posted on this page.

Important presentations and dates in the budget process:

February 16: Board of Education Work Session presentations: Projected Revenues, Payroll and Benefits and Transportation

March 2: Board of Education Meeting presentation: Revenue Update with Expenditures

March 16: Board of Education Work Session Presentation: Budget Update

April 6: Board of Education Work Session Presentation: Revenue Update and Expenditures

April 20: Board of Education Meeting Presentation: Overview, Adoption of Budget and Property Tax Report Card

May 4: Budget Hearing

This year’s budget vote will be held on May 16.


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