The Newburgh Enlarged City School District is facing a 20 percent budget cut that could lead to eventual layoffs. As of now, though, jobs are safe.
Last week the District learned that the state plans on releasing full aid payments for September.
“Given this information, we will not move forward with the anticipated layoffs,” said Superintendent Roberto Padilla.
“However, we still do not know about the remaining aid payments scheduled for this year.”
The 20 percent budget cut translates to $33 million, which Padilla described as “catastrophic for a district like Newburgh.”
The district receives approximately 60 percent of their funding from state aid, compared to neighboring school districts who don’t rely on state aid nearly as much, putting Newburgh at an extreme disadvantage.
“The reason why this is such a big deal for Newburgh is because it’s an equity issue,” said Newburgh Enlarged City School District’s Communications Strategist Cassie Sklarz. “Other schools immediately surrounding us don’t get as much of their funding from state aid, so this won’t impact their children or community nearly as much.”
“This is an extremely difficult time for school districts across New York State, but especially for school districts serving the state’s most vulnerable children,” said Padilla in a statement. “COVID has created an untenable situation for school districts.”
At this time the district is reducing operational expenses and positions that are currently vacant.
“These two measures should prevent layoffs for the moment,” said Padilla.
Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Communications Specialist Jessica Ladlee spoke on CSEA’s concern for the budget cuts and how they oppose any potential layoffs.
“Our members have been there throughout this pandemic,” said Ladlee. “Our food service workers were preparing lunches and drivers were taking people to sites to get meals. They were important then and now. The bottom line is that our members are behind the scenes heroes.”
Despite workers not being in the building, there is still work to be done according to Ladlee.
“We urge our community to reach out to our local, state and federal representatives to let them know how these budget cuts will affect their families immediately and for years to come,” said Padilla. “Applying a blanket 20 percent reduction equally to all districts is grossly unfair.”