A couple of times during the last twelve years, voters in the Potsdam School District have said "NO" to the spending plan put forward by the Board of Education (BOE). Each time, there was concern about not enough information being provided to the community for an informed decision. Over those dozen years, a very transparent budget development process was created to give the public many opportunities to hear how the spending plan is developed and what the challenges are each year. This year is no different with meetings scheduled now through April. All are in the evening in the High School library. The schedule is here : Finance Committee Budget Calendar
So far, members of the public and Board of Education members have been absent, even the two new Board members who haven't been through development of a spending plan yet. If no one attends these meetings, the Finance Committee won't have feedback about the public's priorities.
There are two meetings this week. On Monday night, the 11th, administration is scheduled to present their strategic budget plan for closing the gap to the Finance Committee. On Tuesday, the 12th, there will be a public forum ahead of the regular Board of Education meeting to hear what the public wants the spending plan to look like.
So far, administration has told the BOE Finance Committee that significant cuts to staff and programs are being considered throughout the school district (December 18th meeting). Administration has presented a status quo look at all parts of the spending plan (January 10th and 29th meetings). In general, expenses are going up in all of those areas.
Much attention has been focused on lobbying Albany for more money for rural school districts. It is time to start paying attention to what will happen to your own school district. Hear for yourself what the proposed spending plan looks like and be prepared to help the Board of Education prioritize what is important to the community. Get involved!