June 3, 2020:
Dear Churchville-Chili families:
I would like to take this opportunity to request your support and collaboration to address the recent death of George Floyd as well as the series of deaths and other acts of racism over the past several weeks and years. This is a very emotional time for each of us, especially our children. We need to join together to end racism.
As adults, it is very emotional watching the reckless actions of one person taking the life of another played out on news channel outlets. I recognize how unsettling and traumatic it is for our youth, especially those who are marginalized, to watch this unfold. Numerous students are using social media to post their thoughts and feelings about this incident related to racism and white privilege, which mirrors the larger national social media environment. I believe that as adults and role models for our students and our own children, we must make time to hear what our students have to say, have an honest dialogue about racism, and provide them with support and assurance that we will treat each other with mutual dignity and respect.
As a district, we are focused on cultural responsiveness in an effort to become a more inclusive learning environment and improve opportunities for students to have greater access and equity in our school community. This includes our Dignity for All committee which has had student representation for the last five years. They have provided leadership in cultural awareness, implicit bias, relationship circles, and conversations about racism. On behalf of our student group, their request is that, “we stand together, those who have privilege and those who do not, to remove barriers, take action to become anti-racist, and work together to fix these problems.”
We need to continue our work and do more. I hope you will join me in listening and learning from those who have experienced bias and acts of institutional racism. This is our opportunity to have a candid conversation with our children about racism, how it exists now and has throughout history. It is our call to action to determine ways to move forward together to respect our differences, eliminate oppression, learn from one another, create equity, and combat unnecessary acts of violence.
Our counselors are available to support you and your children. Their contact information has been posted on Google classroom pages for easy access. In addition, you can contact us for additional support at 293-1800 x2131.
Let’s move forward and stand together to unite our children and community,
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” - Benjamin Franklin
This year we find ourselves in a very challenging situation while developing a school budget that is fiscally responsible at a time in which our economy has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the economic hardship and the costs needed to support struggling families in New York, the Governor has reduced the State Aid to our school district by nearly $900,000. The Governor has also informed us that an additional 20 percent or approximately 4.5 million dollars in additional reductions may occur. Our current budget this year will be negatively impacted by the loss of sales tax revenue, and we anticipate a loss of $760,000 the 2020-2021 budget year, as well.
Although our students have been learning at home, our teachers, administrators, and staff have been fully engaged and committed to providing resources and maintaining connections to our students and families throughout this timeframe. We have acquired some savings due to diesel and substitute teacher costs, and are using those funds to offset a portion of the upcoming budget. When we began our budget planning in December, we proposed the addition of a Pre-Kindergarten program. Given our current financial climate, we have removed that from the budget along with some staff reductions due to enrollment.
The process for developing a school district budget is taken very seriously and we have spent a great deal of time in work sessions reviewing expenditures, revenues, along with assessing efficiencies and cost saving measures. As a result, we have developed what we believe to be a fiscally sound budget to present to the community on June 9, 2020.
The proposed budget of $88,467,407, adopted by the Board of Education on May 5, 2020, reflects an increase of 3.64% over last year’s budget and would mean a 2.50% increase in the tax levy which is below the district’s levy cap of 3.55%. This budget would result in an estimated tax rate rate increase of 1.58% for the town of Chili, an increase of 2.77% for the town of Riga, a decrease of .49% for the town of Ogden, and a decrease of 2.48% for the town of Sweden due to varied equalization rates.
The second proposition on the ballot will be the purchase of 10 buses at a cost not to exceed $1,210,000. Additional information about our district’s proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year as well as information about our Board of Education candidates, may be found on the following pages.
Detailed budget information posted on the Budget Development page
of the district website. We hope you will take the opportunity to complete your absentee ballot and return it by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
Superintendent of School