After running in the red for two years, the Weindanchi school district is expected to show a surplus of more than $ 6 million when closing books in 2019-20, according to state-appointed monitors.
Monitor Albert Chase suggested that in a new financial plan, Weindunch may be ready to approve bond issuance of around $ 30 million for the refurbishment and expansion of a dilapidated school. However, Chase warned that the system “remains one major event away from the financial crisis.”
The 2,700 student district is rated as the poorest in Long Island in terms of taxable income and property. In January, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill approving both Wien Dunch and Hempstead monitors.
Chase’s fiscal improvement plan, announced earlier this month, referred to Wien Dunch’s motto, “We are rising.”
“And it’s clear that the district is actually rising from its lowest point less than two years ago,” the monitor added. “The challenge is to continue along that path unabated.”
Chase, a veteran school business manager, was appointed as a monitor by the state education authorities in April. He began his five-year term the following month.
Wien Dunch is not the only district facing financial uncertainty. Cuomo may need to reduce state aid to all districts by up to 20% if the federal government does not provide relief to state and local governments that are still upset by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I warned that there was no such thing. ..
Chase estimates that Weindunch relies specifically on state aid, with a state-wide loss share of more than $ 9 million.
At least for now, Wien Dunch seems to be in pretty good shape. According to monitors, the district posted a total deficit of nearly $ 3.1 million in 2017-18 and 2018-19, but posted a surplus of more than $ 6.3 million in 2019-20.
Like many other districts, Wien Dunch saved money because he didn’t pay for certain items, such as bus transportation, after the school was closed between March and June. The monitor also cited stricter spending controls implemented by Gina Talbert.
Residents of Weindunch are paying higher property taxes than before. In May, they resolved to revoke the state’s tax cap and raised tax by 3.3%. This is a move approved by Chase.
Over the next four years, Monitor has recommended that the district reduce its budget surplus by $ 200,000 annually to curb further tax increases. It presupposes that surplus remains if state aid is reduced.
In the long run, Chase suggests that district voters approve bond issuance. He states that most borrowings will be reimbursed by the state and some money may be spent in place of the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms currently rented in neighboring districts.
James Crawford, president of Wiren Dunch, told Newsday Wednesday that the board’s trustees, who generally approved the plan, discussed the idea of bond borrowing.
“We think it’s possible, but we need to talk to the community to see if it’s possible,” Crawford said.