Budget & Fiscal Matters & Staffing
Budget and Fiscal Matters
Albany Leadership recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic may have a more lasting effect on the economy, which was taken into consideration in 2020-2021 budget development.
In building a conservative budget for the 2020-2021 school year, it was determined it would be best to budget for 35 fewer students (315) than our current charter number (350). This determination was made taking into consideration enrollment history, as well as the challenges surrounding student recruitment with the effects of COVID-19 thus far throughout the spring and summer of 2020.
With a decreased projected enrollment, the number of class sections was reduced, which resulted in a reduction of 4 teaching FTEs.
In addition, there are 3 unfilled non-instructional positions, which will not be filled unless the need is determined.
Albany Leadership also plans to utilize accumulated reserves, if necessary, in order to offset any major budgets expenses that will required to provide the best teaching and learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Albany Leadership has identified the following budget line items as being most vulnerable for the 2020-2021 academic school year:
Enrollment/Revenue – Recruitment has been more difficult to execute during the pandemic, affecting overall enrollment. However, if students were to not return to school physically, it may be possible and necessary to eliminate additional non-instructional staff to help offset actual revenue gaps.
Technology/Capital Expense – If the school is required to move completely to a remote synchronous learning environment, there may be capital expenses incurred that were not budgeted. Some options have been explored in the event that the closure is extended beyond August 2020.
PPP/Safety Supplies – With the uncertainty surrounding what requirements will be placed on reopening schools to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students, it is difficult to plan and budget. Some considerations include whether there will be a need to provide face masks to every student and staff member each day, whether we will be required to purchase thermal temperature readers to check every individual that enters the building, will we need to purchase sanitized push here stickers on every door and handle, to name a few. All of these items are expenses that are not typically planned for in the past and may need to be purchased throughout the duration of the 2020-2021 school year.
Although these concerns have been considered in the 2020-2021 planning process, ALH is prepared to utilize necessary accumulated reserves in order to offset any major budget expenses related the above.
Albany Leadership has historically developed and adopted a budget that includes 2% of budget year revenue as a reserve line. This strategy has built up accumulated reserves for future projects/plans. For the 2020-21 school year budget, this line has been converted to a “COVID reserve.” These funds may be utilized in order to offset any unplanned or unknown budget expenses that may be encountered during the 2020-21 school year.
Although the COVID reserve allows for a strong contingency plan for the school to manage unplanned expenses, the school will be exploring any and all funding programs that provide relief to schools during the pandemic. In addition, grant opportunities for new programs and initiatives will be researched to help elevate any unplanned expenses during the new school year and years after.
Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (Education Law §3012-D/APPR)
ALH conducts formal reviews of all staff each year. The evaluation process includes informal Walkthroughs, Data- Dialogue Conference Cycle, and an annual face-to-face formal and informal evaluation, and a written summary in the third quarter of each school year. The written summary will be placed in the employee’s personnel file and copied to the employee.
Certification, Incidental Teaching, and Substitute Teaching
ALH is fully compliant with certification requirements.