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5.7.20 - School budget vote scheduled for June 9, absentee ballot only

School budget vote scheduled for June 9, absentee ballot only

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on May 1 announcing that the 2020-21 school budget vote and board of education election will take place on June 9, exclusively by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.  

The executive order establishes a timeline of actions that schools must undertake leading up to this date, including sending an absentee ballot with a prepaid return envelope to all qualified voters. Qualified voters are defined as U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and have lived in the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote. Qualified voters on the last 4 years’ poll lists will be automatically sent an absentee ballot. Anyone who meets the definition of a “qualified voter” but does not believe they will be on the school district’s poll list (which includes names of residents who voted in the last four years’ school elections), please contact District Clerk Angela Legault by phone at 518-273-1422 ex. 9 or email at alegault@greenisland.org as soon as possible to ensure timely receipt of an absentee ballot for the 2020 school election.  

Following budget adoption on May 19, the district will make the proposed budget available to the public, hold a budget hearing on May 27 (which will take place remotely), and mail a budget notice to all residents after the budget hearing. This procedure is no different than other years except for the hearing being held remotely. 

Additionally, the executive order calls for districts to send each qualified voter a postcard with the date of the election, the date of the budget hearing and the definition of a qualified voter.

Board of Education Election   

Anyone interested in running for a seat on the Board of Education (BOE) must contact District Clerk Angela Legault by phone at 518-273-1422 ex. 9 or email at alegault@greenisland.org for a nominating petition. While the governor's order waived the minimum signature threshold for BOE candidates, it states that candidates must meet all of the other requirements to run for the board. These requirements are that candidates must be eighteen years of age or older and a resident of the district for a period of one year prior to June 9, 2020.   

Nominating petitions are due to the district clerk by 5 p.m., May 11, 2020.  

2020-21 Green Island Budget Process  

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic on state and local finances, Green Island school leaders continue to work toward a proposed 2020-21 school district budget. While school leaders are striving to preserve programming for students, including athletics, some spending cuts are being examined as leaders anticipate the impact of the New York state budget enacted on April 2.   

New provisions in the state budget contribute to significant uncertainty for the district. These provisions include the introduction of three periodic reviews of state revenue that could result in mid-year school aid cuts. There is also a new “Pandemic Adjustment” state aid reduction that is, at least for now, fully offset by federal stimulus funding.