City School District of the City of Niagara Falls

Learning For All...Whatever It Takes

  • Spt. Mark Laurrie

     

    From Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie - May 2024 

    2024 - 2025 School District Budget 

    It’s an exciting time for the City School District of the City of Niagara Falls (NFCSD). We are gearing up for the Class of 2024 to accept their diplomas on the evening of Thursday, June 27, 2024, we have music concerts, the District Art Show, our spring sports are in full gear and we have students recently returning from trips to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Puerto Rico, and Ghana. And we have the budget. We need to be just as excited about the annual school budget vote as we are about everything that makes spring unique. We cannot adequately educate our children without a robust, solid spending plan, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to experience a full life.     

    The 2024 – 2025 budget was one of the most challenging of all budgets I have been a part of since I became superintendent. The District received far less New York State Foundation Aid in New York State Governor Hochul’s budget than had been expected. For the 2023 – 2024 school year, the NFCSD received $13 million in Foundation aid. That figure dropped by almost $10 million for the 2024 - 2025 school year to $3.6 million.

         As of this writing, the NFCSD expects to receive $183,784,639 in total revenues on a budget of $190,992,049, leaving a budget gap of $7,207,410 for 2024 – 2025. To bridge this gap without cutting programs, staff, or raising taxes, the Board has proposed utilizing the District’s reserve funds. The construct of next year’s budget includes a formula that results in a “negative tax cap.” This anomaly requires that our budget must pass with a 60% plurality.

         If the budget does not pass, the District will be forced to make some significant changes. The tax levy will remain unchanged, but the students and community will notice a difference in the services the District can provide. For instance, the District will no longer be able to bus students who live within one and a half miles of schools, and routine school supplies for students will no longer be provided. Additionally, anyone wishing to use the NFCSD’s facilities or fields will be required to pay the total rental price upfront.

         The District budget includes funds for new technology equipment because our students must stay caught up in this constantly changing area. Students in grades three through six will be able to utilize new laptops, and new projector systems will be installed across the District.

         Nothing comes before the safety of our children. Students can’t learn if they are afraid of violence happening in their schools. The NFCSD is constantly investing in school building safety, and the 2024 – 2025 proposed budget calls for the continuation of five school resource officers and 30 safety officers. 

         Polls will be open at general election polling sites from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. If you are unsure where to vote, please get in touch with District Clerk Judie Glaser at 716-286-4204

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