J-D explores solutions to 2024-25 proposed budget challenges

The Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District is facing a significant deficit for the 2024-25 school year. The district’s 2024-25 tax levy limit, coupled with an anticipated nominal increase in aid from New York state, is making it difficult for the district to close a $3.1M budget gap for next year.

The state-imposed tax levy limit will allow the district to raise $45,358,697 through the tax levy, $808,682 or 1.82% more than in 2023-24.

Foundation aid is currently projected to increase from $11,924,580 in 2023-24 to $12,187,166 for 2024-25.

“Even though we’re seeing a small increase to our tax levy and foundation aid, it’s not enough to cover rising costs in other areas related to inflation and contractual obligations. We’re trying to find the right balance between what our community can support and the cost of providing students with the highest quality education possible,” said Superintendent Peter Smith.

To close this gap and balance the proposed 2024-25 budget, the district is recommending an increased fund balance from $796,000 in 2023-24 to $1,200,000, the use of $750,000 in reserves, and spending cuts. These recommendations were presented to the board of education during its regular meeting on Monday, March 18.

“The instructional budget proposal delivered to the board could not have been assembled without the thoughtful approach taken by the administrative team and with a deep understanding of the complexity of the circumstances shown by the finance committee as we continue working through the budget development process. Their efforts and support are appreciated,” said Smith.

Spending cuts would include reductions in BOCES services, supplies and materials, and a reduction in workforce. The district is proposing the elimination of approximately 14 positions through a combination of attrition and layoffs. Impacted staff were notified about the layoffs on Friday, March 15.

“We truly value our staff and the impact they have in our schools but we also need to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and the resources available to us. The district has seen a 10% decrease in enrollment over the past five years and we feel now is the time to make appropriate adjustments to our workforce,” said Smith. “I also want to stress that no programs would be eliminated under this proposal and class sizes would be similar to what they are now.”

If you would like to learn more about the 2024-25 proposed school budget, please visit the district’s Budget and Finance webpage.