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  • No. The funds the district receives from the state for this purpose are categorized as "Building Aid" and can only be used for school construction projects.

  • It depends. Computer software is purchased through various budgets including state-aided software, textbook, special education, BOCES, and grant funds. Most of the recurring costs for software licenses are paid through the state-aided software budget. This budget line is unique in that the district is only reimbursed for what it spends (up to a certain amount). In effect, this is a "use it or lose it" source of funding for our district. Eliminating or reducing the software expenditures will eliminate or reduce the corresponding state aid revenue. Applications purchased through BOCES are generally the only areas where we would realize a savings via the difference between the cost of the application and the corresponding BOCES aid reimbursement.

  • No. Our current school photographer provides our ID tags free of charge.

  • No. Our lunch and breakfast programs are self-funded. There is no money used from the general fund for any food service program, including wages.

  • Yes and no. We use three main sources for our professional development for staff members: BOCES, general fund and grant money from Title IIA. When we purchase services from BOCES, we receive 85% of the cost back the following year in what is termed as "BOCES aid". In light of the reimbursement from BOCES, this is very inexpensive professional development. Title IIA funds is federal grant money we receive on a yearly basis. We can use the money from Title IIA for conference costs, outside presenters and substitutes for teachers to engage in professional development. If we were to not use our small amount of professional development money from the general fund this would be a savings to the district. We do use some of our own teachers as in-house trainers for specific professional development. Sometimes, we need to hire outside experts when our in-house trainers do not have the expertise or knowledge needed for specific professional development.

  • We have negotiated contracts with all of our bargaining units. The contracts were negotiated in good faith and approved by all parties (the bargaining unit, Superintendent and the Board of Education). The Board of Education cannot decide on its own to freeze the wages of PCSD employees. This would need the agreement of all parties.

  • As a public school, we are bound by rules and regulations as to how we can purchase items. All purchases are made with a purchase order. Our supplies are put out for bid. We take the lowest bid. Even though we are able to get discounts through our vendors, the prices sometimes are higher than supply sales advertised through Walmart, Target, and Dollar General. In the commercial store world, these low prices are termed as "lost leaders". Stores will take a loss on these items in order to entice the consumer to come and purchase items at their store.

  • Public schools are not-for-profit institutions. If we sell advertising space, we are venturing into commercialism. Other than "pouring rights", our Pepsi contract, we are forbidden by education law to seek financial support through advertisements.

  • Our district receives a set amount of state aid for textbooks. This is separate from our regular state aid. With textbook aid, if we don’t use it, we lose it. Our textbooks are replaced on a schedule. We usually replace a textbook every 5 to 7 years.

  • No. Education law is very specific. As a school district, we cannot charge students a fee to be on an athletic team. If the Sports Boosters funds an athletic team, they can ask for a donation from players to support the expenses involved with running a team. Students would not be excluded if they were not able to donate money.