No Pre-Payment for 2018-19 School Taxes Allowed

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The Cazenovia School District official statement:
Our school district is not able to accommodate pre-payment of school taxes for federal tax purposes. Final payments of 2017-18 school taxes were due by November 6, 2017. We are not able to provide estimated tax bills for 2018-19. Our district will not adopt a budget and tax levy for that year until the May school budget votes.  We are not legally able to collect school taxes without a Tax Warrant set by the Board of Education.  The Board of Education cannot set the Tax Warrant until a budget is approved by the voters in May.  We do not have policies or procedures to collect partial payments in advance.
For further information, here are some quotes from a guidance document released by the New York State Council of School Superintendents:
  • During the conference call with reporters, the Governor and his budget director explained that the action was directed primarily at local governments which operate on a calendar year (January 1 – December 31) fiscal year. They acknowledged that facilitating pre-payment of property taxes may not be possible for most school districts.
  • The executive order does not suspend any provision of Article 13 of the Real Property Tax Law which governs the levy of property taxes for most school districts. Accordingly, we do not see the order as providing authority for school districts to adopt estimated or partial tax warrants for 2018-19 school taxes, nor to issue tax bills corresponding to those warrants.
  • Districts have not adopted budgets and tax levies for 2018-19, assessments have not been finalized, and equalization rates could change, so there could be discrepancies between any estimated tax bills now and actual ones next summer/fall.

2 Positions Up for Re-election on Board of Education

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  • There are 2 positions on the Board of Education that are up for re-election;
  • The term starts July 1, 2017 and is a 3 year term;
  • Anyone interested in running for election has to submit the attached Petition for Nomination of a Candidate with a minimum of 25 signatures from qualified voters of the Caz CSD.  The petition must be properly completed;
  • The Petition must be turned in to the District Office by 4:00 p.m. on April 13, 2017.
NOTICE IS ALSO HEREBY GIVEN that petitions nominating candidates for the Board of Education vacancies must be filed in the office of the Clerk of said School District, Cazenovia Middle School, Cazenovia, New York, between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 p.m. not later than the 13th day of April, 2017. There are two (2) at-large vacancies to be filled on the Board of Education, each for a three-year term commencing July l, 2017 and expiring June 30, 2020. The vacancies arise from the expiration of the terms of Jan Woodworth and Leigh Baldwin. Each petition shall be directed to the Clerk of said School District, shall be signed by at least twenty-five (25) qualified voters of said School District, shall state the residence of each signer and shall state the name and residence of the candidate.

Dignity for All Students Act DACT

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New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function. The New York State Dignity For All Students Act (Dignity Act) was signed into law on September 13, 2010. This legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity For All Students. The Dignity Act becomes effective on July 1, 2012. The Dignity Act states that NO student shall be subjected to harassment or discrimination by employees or students on school property or at a school function based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. The Dignity Act amended Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respected for others, and dignity. This law originally earned the nickname of “DASA”, but the New York State Education Department has changed the nickname to DACT (Dignity ACT). Inclusive in the DACT guidelines is the topic of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as: using the Internet, cell phones or other electronic devices to send or post text or images intended to intimidate, hurt or embarrass another person. A movie to view that epitomizes this issue is “Easy A”. Much of cyberbullying is initiated out of school via facebook, twitter, instagram or texting. The Dignity for All Students Act arises out of legislative concern, born out of media coverage of egregious cases, to prevent bullying in schools. While the act does not use the word “bullying”, that is its focus. This act is designed to prevent and prohibit discriminating and harassing conduct on school property and at school functions. It also establishes additional “protected classes” of students. Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a student has been subject to discrimination or harassment, must act reasonably and in good faith, and report the incident. Incident reporting forms are available on the district website and on each building’s page. Today’s students are referred to as “Digital Natives”, and as such they are quite adept with technology. A recent survey shared with schools the following data: • 94% have a cell phone • 70% own a laptop • 69% own an ipod or mp3 player • 23% own a tablet • 28% have shared information they would not normally share in public • 12% have shared a cell phone number with a stranger • 13% have posted risqué photos of themselves online • 7% have their primary social media profile set to public These statistics are cause for concern regarding today’s youth. The Dignity Act is an attempt to create a safe and supportive school climate where students can learn and focus, as they navigate the digital culture. The following people have been appointed as Dignity Act Coordinators for the Cazenovia Central School District. • Mary Horan Burton Street Elementary, mhoran@caz.cnyric.org • Jennifer Glasgow Cazenovia Middle School, jglasgow@caz.cnyric.org • Britt Zumpano Cazenovia High School, bzumpano@caz.cnyric.org Link to the Discrimination/Harassment Complaint Form: Article by: Susan Vickers, Associate Principal Cazenovia High School

The Cost of ‘Investment in’ Education

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The Cost of ‘Investment in’ Education

By Bill Furlong, Assistant Superintendent

I have had many conversations over the years with people who ask about our school budget and talk about the “cost of education”.  They inquire about how much we spend on certain parts of our budget.  They ask about teacher salaries, athletics, employee benefits and other expenditures we make.  I welcome these conversations since they give me an opportunity to better explain our costs and what we do to manage them.  However, I would argue that we do not “spend” on education, but rather invest in education.  Expenditures do not have a future value.  But an investment will create a future value that should far exceed the amount of the original investment.  The money that we invest in public education creates the potential for a significant return on that investment for that individual and the community they live in.  If upon graduation, a student is hired for a job at minimum wage and never receives a pay raise, that former student will still earn back the cost of their K-12 education within 9 years.  If that student goes on to college and earns a degree that enables a $50,000 annual salary, then the payback period drops to under 3 years. While the return on this investment is much harder to calculate or quantify, I will let you be the judge.  Did your public school education open the door to college or employment which allowed you to create an earning potential that you would not have had if no public education system existed?  The public education that we received was paid for by the taxpayers of that era and we benefited from their investment in our public education. This past weekend I had the pleasure of giving the class of 1962 a tour of the High School as part of their class reunion activities.  In hearing them talk about their lives and careers I was struck by how successful they were and about how they viewed Cazenovia Central.  They were proud of the Blue Ribbon award we just received.  They were proud of the academic and extracurricular programs that we now offer.  And they were proud to be Cazenovia graduates.  It is difficult to measure the return on investment that education can create. But I believe that the class of 2013 can return in 50 years, with the same pride and success as the class of ‘62, and show that our investment in them was well worth it.

Cazenovia Central Continues to Keep Costs Down

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By Bill Furlong – Assistant Superintendent During our budget process we make several comparisons against schools in our area, especially schools our size. These comparisons include cost per student, overall budget, level of debt, and the cost of specific areas like athletics. We present this information during our budget hearing and we always compare very favorably to schools in our area and have one of the lowest costs per student numbers in Central New York. There was a recent Times-Union article that listed the per student cost of education for schools in the Albany area. Having tracked the per student cost in our area as a benchmark, I wanted to see how we compared to schools in the capital region. The good news is that we also compare very favorably to the schools in the Albany region. Of the 13 schools identified in the Times-Union article, only two, Shenendehowa and Saratoga, have a lower cost per student. The two schools with a lower cost per student are both much larger school districts. The cost per student for schools named in the article ranged from a low of $14,760 (Saratoga) to a high of $21,011 (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk). Our actual per student cost was $15,781 in 2011-12. The statewide average is $18,618 per student. The bad news is that we estimate that this per student cost will increase in 12-13 to $16,380. While our actual budget is lower in 2012-13, a declining enrollment results in a higher cost per student. Declining enrollment will continue to influence our cost per student in a negative way. While we have adjusted staffing as our enrollment has decreased, there are many fixed costs including utilities and debt, which cannot be adjusted as easily. While we compare favorably to the statewide average, it is important to note that New York State has the highest per student cost in the country. The Times-Union article discusses several reasons for this including the impact of costly mandates that are placed upon public schools in NYS. One factor that was not addressed in the article is the cost of living in NYS. Of the top ten states with the highest cost per student, eight of those states are in the northeast where the cost of living is higher for a wide variety of reasons. Higher cost of living results in higher salaries and wages. If you look at some of the school districts on Long Island you will see cost per student in the $25,000 to $30,000 range which influences the NYS average. Please look for more articles on how we as a school district look to contain or reduce cost.

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