Purpose of Budget Review
The objective of this review was to provide an independent evaluation of the East Ramapo Central School District’s (District’s) proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
Pursuant to Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2016, the New York State Department of Education (SED) is required to appoint up to three monitors to the District to provide fiscal and academic oversight. In February 2021, the two appointed monitors (one fiscal and one academic) expressed concerns that the 2020-21 fiscal year budget may be under-funded by approximately $25 to $30 million. In response to those concerns, District officials, SED officials, and members of the New York State Legislature requested our Office to complete a financial review, which led to our review of the District’s proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
- Our review of the 2021-22 budget considered District officials’ projections in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (pandemic) and planned federal aid including (CARES – Coronavirus AID, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSA – Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act; and ARP – American Rescue Plan).
- We found that the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the 2021-22 proposed budget are reasonable. However, while the total budget is balanced, the District is relying on one-time federal aid amounts to fund regular teacher salaries, which are recurring costs the District will have after the federal aid has been spent.
- The District has nine collective bargaining units and 48 transportation contracts that have or will be expiring at the end of 2020-21, which could impact the budget.
- Closely monitor revenues and expenditures and make budget modifications as necessary in a timely manner to ensure a balanced budget.
- Continue providing timely financial information to the Fiscal Monitor and work with him to develop structurally balanced budgets that include realistic revenue estimates and appropriations based on historical trends or other known factors, such as recent settlement of contracts.