See article in the Post-Standard at:
Presently, the Mexico Academy and Central Schools has one of the most, if not THE most, stable fiscal positions of any school in New York State. We have a total fund balance in excess of $26 million. It is our responsibility to 1. preserve academic programs and opportunities for children 2. maintain our facilities (that belong to the public and should be safe and comfortable) 3. keep property taxes at a stable level. Our district is ranked 12th out of 681 New York State school districts in terms of its financial health…it would be irresponsible to the children and the tax payers to sit on a $26 million “war chest.” This money belongs to the people.
Dr. Rick Timbs (a school finance expert whom is referred to in referenced in the attached article) created a financial model for all NYS schools and assigned each a “fund balance lifespan.” This life span considered the spending and revenue patterns of NYS schools. At current rates, the Mexico Academy Central Schools has a fund balance life span of over 20 years. Less than one percent of school districts can claim this level of financial health, with most others having less than ten years remaining until insolvency. We are very fortunate in this regard, but please understand…we can’t just keep growing the “war chest” fund balance – we need to spend some of these public funds on our most precious resource – our students – while continuing to be mindful of our taxpayers. This 2013-14 school budget does just that and preserves our strong financial condition in the event that the hard economic climate persists.
While I have been an educator for many years and am familiar with all aspects of school finance, I hold an MBA in Corporate Finance and have worked as a financial analyst prior to entering the field of school administration. We are also represented by a Board of Education who is experienced and whose members have backgrounds as entrepreneurs and business professionals. This budget was developed as part of a community effort and has benefitted from a range of stakeholder input.
Next year, our district proposes an 8.27% increase in spending (preserving programs and small class sizes) with less than a 1% increase in property taxes. This is a great value and represents a long term strategic approach to funding our school’s operation. The Mexico Community and its school district is unique in this regard and provides a sharp contrast to the other school districts mentioned in this Newspaper article. We are very protective of public capital – both financial and human. Putting it simply, our district is managed differently than those mentioned in the attached article. Please vote on May 21st, 2013.