Dunkirk City school budget sees 3% increase

At a special meeting, the Dunkirk Board of Education began the steps needed to approve a budget for the 2021-22 school year.

It unanimously voted on the tentative BOCES administrative budget, which was in the amount of $3,286,094. The other item voted on was the property tax report card which was also approved unanimously.

The budget for the upcoming school year totals $51,413,792, which is a little over a 3% increase from this year. The rise is primarily driven by the special education needs and English as a New Language services, occupational education enrollment and computer instruction.

“We are seeing an increase of $1.4 million in foundation aid and then they (the state) are planning the full foundation aid phased in by 2023-2024,” Business Administrator Cindy Mackowiak said at the April 13 regular meeting of the board of education. “We’ve seen in the past where foundation aid was supposed to be fully phased in and then remained flat for a number of years, but their plan is to give to the districts 50% of the balances that are due in 2022-2023 and another 50% of that balance in 2023-2024.”New York state also has reinstated all the expense based aids such as transportation aid, BOCES aid and instructional material aids which are all back to being included and not lumped together either.

The next course of action is for the board to adopt the budget as presented. As of today, the budget will be available for public view. On May 11 there will be a public hearing at 6 p.m. held via Zoom.

On May 18 will be the public vote for board members and the budget will take place.


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