YONKERS, N.Y. -- In order to increase financial transparency in the shadow of its hulking multi-million dollar deficit, the Yonkers Board of Education is planning to draft preventative changes to its fiscal management policies.
According to the City school district, the estimated deficits of $45.5 million over the past two years, along with the anticipated budget gap for the 2014-15 school year of $73.5 million, add up to a staggering $119 million potential budgetary shortfall.
While Mayor Mike Spano focuses on exploring possible negotiations for mayoral control of the district, much to some local officials' dismay, the BOE is focusing on prevention of another budget crisis.
The recommendations will include adjusting the timeline for submitting the BOE’s annual proposed budget to the City, enlisting membership of the City Council Education Chair to the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, and increasing collaboration with the City’s finance staff, the BOE released in a statement.
“Changes to the District’s fiscal management should be made through Board policy, not through legislation,” stated Board Vice President Steve Lopez.
“Therefore, we have committed to instituting policy changes that offer transparency and accountability while creating a cooperative venture among representatives from the District, City, County and State."
Board President Dr. Nader J. Sayegh stated, “The Board has unveiled several measures to increase cooperation in the budget process, including the enactment of the current inter-municipal agreement.”
He added, “This kind of collective conversation makes it easier to move toward solutions."
The next Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for April 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Yonkers Board of Education building, located at 1 Larkin Center. The community is encouraged to attend.