Message from the Superintendent
Welcome to the Superintendent Message Center. I hope you find the information you are looking for on this site. If you do not find something on this site that you are looking for, please let us know and we will consider including it as a resource. You can either call us at 716-933-7140 for questions or concerns, or type them into the comment link below. Thank you for taking the time to stay informed.
Here is my message for the start of the 2020-21 School Year:
I am so proud of the PCS faculty and staff. I am so proud of the Portville Central School Community. We are in the most difficult of times, but somehow every time I turn around I see smiles, joy, friendship, citizenship, humility, hope, hard work, and love. Tough times bring out who we are, and the Portville community has shown its compassion and strength.
I fear, however, our most challenging times as a school community have not yet begun. With state revenues plummeting, and local taxpayers facing both personal and communitywide burdens too great to muster, we are in for a storm. We anticipate that we will have to make significant cuts in our faculty, staff and programs to get through this crisis. We could have to cut 20% of our budget…$3.6 million dollars. Federal relief will be essential to mitigating this devastation.
It can be far too easy to think – “well they spend too much anyway.” But, that would be untrue. We are the lowest expenditure per-pupil district in the entire 57th Congressional District. In part, because we have had the largest loss in the State Foundation Aid Formula (as a percent of our budget) in the 57th Congressional District as well – stemming all the way back to the 2008 Recession. For us to spend what similar local schools are spending, PCS would have to spend approximately $4 Million more annually!
In normal times. our efficiency is a beacon of joy and pride for the entire school community, especially in light of us being one of the highest (some years the highest) performing school district in the 57th Congressional District as well. But, when bad economic times hit, we are disproportionately harmed by cuts in State Aid for a number of reasons. The first reason is simple; we have less “fat” to trim. The second reason, when State Aid cuts have come in the past, we have been disproportionately cut in both total dollars and as a percent of our budget. In 2011, neighboring schools spending nearly $4 million more than PCS had approximate state aid cuts of $400,000. PCS was cut $1.6 million, 10% of our budget! The reasons this happened are complicated, but ultimately, it was a result of the state aid formula and politics.
Our focus as a community over the coming months must be to lobby, in any way we know how, to try to get New York State to consider a district’s efficiency when making aid cuts. Please go to www.portvillecsd.org , to see how you can help.
We continue to do more, offer more opportunities, get better results, and show more growth with less than nearly any other school in New York State. As a community, you continue to be a beacon of efficiency, hope, excellence, and neighborly love and support. With all of us working together – WE GOT THIS!
Thomas J. Simon