Message from the President and Board of Education
Dear Lancaster School District Residents,
I hope this letter finds you and your family well and coping as best you can during this worldwide crisis. The Lancaster School Board and District have the safety and well-being of our students and community at the forefront of our concerns. As a parent, teacher, and school board member, I realize that situations are different from family to family. Some of us are enduring more hardships than others. And while the education of our children is vitally important, ensuring that our district continues to provide support for our families beyond teaching and learning is also paramount.
Our community has shown great support for the continued efforts of our district throughout the pandemic as we have transitioned from ‘brick to click.’ The distance learning initiatives created and facilitated by our administration and teachers have enabled us to continue quality instruction and learning throughout the closure. Our Chromebook distribution maximized accessibility for continued learning for all students and families. In addition, we continue to offer a meal distribution program which provides healthy food to all of our students who wish to partake.
We now must look to the future to maintain the strength of programs and offerings that have made Lancaster Central School District one of the finest school systems in the country. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face the possibility of revenue reductions from the state and other funding sources, which may impact the district for years to come. It is imperative to our students and community that during these trying, unprecedented times, we continue to offer the same educational opportunities to our students that we have grown accustomed to in our school district. Simply stated, we present a budget that asks voters to allow us to continue the educational experience our students, families, and community have come to expect, value, and appreciate.
Our proposed budget for 2020-21 of $114,492,104 maintains all programs and staffing while reducing the tax rate. This proposed budget remains below the tax cap and comes with an estimated tax rate decrease of $3.03, the lowest tax rate in ten years. Once again, I am proud of our board and administrative team for preparing a budget that not only provides for continuation of the enriching and priceless program offerings our community comes to expect, but also provides a proposed tax rate decrease for the benefit of taxpayers.
I would be remiss if I did not offer sincere congratulations and best tidings for the future of our graduating Class of 2020. You have endured one of the singularly most challenging school years in the history of our school district. We are so proud of the way you have admirably conducted yourselves, being role models for your younger peers by keeping the Lancaster spirit alive and well during our separation. While you have missed out on many milestones this year, we hope to make what remains of this year meaningful and memorable. Finally, let me assure you, beyond high school graduation, the best is yet to come! Best of luck in your chosen future endeavors!
We thank our community for its ongoing support during these unprecedented times and look forward to continuing to make Lancaster Central School District a destination school district and community to live.
May you and your families stay safe and well.
Patrick Uhteg, President
Michael Sage, Vice President