Good schools make good communities. Schoharie Central encourages all members of the community to become involved in our school and its future. Please watch this page for frequent updates.
approve 2013-14 school budget
Schoharie Central School District residents approved a
proposal for the 2013-14 school year on
May 21, with 334 voting "yes" and 211 voting "no," a
61.28 percentage of approval.
Voters also approved a bus purchase proposition,
with 325 voting "yes" and 215 voting "no," and a proposition to
renovate the district's bus garage, with 307 "yes" votes and
Three candidates for three open seats on the
Schoharie Board of Education were elected by voters. Marion Jaqueway
received 408 votes, Daniel Guasp received 344 votes and and Terry Burton
received 416 votes.
The school budget, which is 2.88 percent more than the
2012-13 school budget, reflects restoration of certain programs and
services initially considered for reduction. Those changes were made
largely in response to community feedback on local educational
priorities. The budget results
in a $258,644 or 2.88 percent increase in the school tax levy, below the
3.75 percent maximum allowed for the district to secure budget
approval with a simple majority vote of 50 percent plus one.
School tax rates, which are the amount of tax
property owners pay per $1,000 of assessed value, will be determined in
August after the district receives town property assessments and state
In photo, above: Schoharie Clerk of the Board
Rose Wilber (left) and district staff confirm the vote for the 2013-14
budget proposal and propositions on Tuesday evening, May 21.
The school budget process
Developing a budget is an ongoing process, with effort being made
throughout the year toward the goal of providing students with a sound education
that prepares them for career, college and life.
involves many community members prior to the eventual adoption of a
budget by the Schoharie Board of Education and presented for a vote by district
residents. Participation benefits more than
students, teachers and staff, because good schools make good
Schoharie Central is ever mindful of
challenges facing our region, including the uncertainties of funding for
schools and municipalities, a tumultuous economy, and the continued
personal, financial and community pressures resulting from tropical storms Irene and Lee.
What's the story behind the tax levy limit?
Many are confused by the continued use of the
terminology "Tax Cap" as presented by the media and some officials in
state government. Schools refer to the concept as a "Tax Levy Limit," but
it's really a voter threshold. Click on the link to see a very short
video that explains what the tax levy limit is:
WATCH THE VIDEO.
Budget newsletter available online, in print
The May 2013 Budget Edition newsletter for the Schoharie Central
School District is available for download by clicking
here. The newsletter provides detailed information
about the proposed 2013-14 school budget adopted by the Schoharie
Board of Education on April 23 and which will be voted upon on May
21. A printed newsletter was mailed to all district residents.
Board adopts 2013-14 Proposed School Budget at April 23 meeting;
residents enouraged to vote on May 21
At an April 23 meeting, the Schoharie Board of
Education adopted a $21,018,989 Proposed Budget for the 2013-14 school year
that will be presented to district residents for a vote on May 21. To maintain
current programs and services, the Proposed Budget contains an increase of
$587,620 (2.88 percent) over the voter-approved 2012-13 (current year) budget.
The Proposed Budget contains a tax levy increase of
$258,644, or 2.88 percent, over the current year's budget, which is
below the maximum allowable tax levy increase (tax levy limit) of 3.75
All are urged to vote on the budget on
May 21, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Schoharie Jr./Sr. High School
Also up for a vote on May 21: School bus purchase
and bus garage capital project propositions
A Proposition the May 21 ballot will ask voters to
approve the purchase of four replacement school buses, including two
66-passenger buses, one 22-28 passenger bus, and one 8-passenger bus for
a total cost of $300,000. If the proposition is approved, the district
would receive approximately 75.3% of the purchase price in state aid
over a five-year period to reduce the cost of borrowing. The resulting
net cost is about $74,100, or $14,820 per year for each year of the five
years of the payments. The school district would also receive state aid
on the interest cost of borrowing to pay for the buses. The cost of the
proposition is already included in the debt service calculation for
2013-14, so it would not increase the proposed budget.
Why does the district purchase buses on a
The proposed bus purchases are part of an ongoing bus replacement plan
designed to ensure students are transported on buses that meet the
latest safety standards. The plan also allows the district to trade in
or phase out older, high-mileage vehicles with body-wear issues to avoid
the cost inefficiencies related to keeping them in service.
What happens if the Bus Proposition is
If the proposition is defeated, the district will
have to spend at least $14,820 to repair or refurbish existing buses
during the next two school years to keep older vehicles in service. The
repairs would have to be made to meet state Department of Transportation
requirements. Subsequent repairs for the buses would also be likely due
to high-mileage and body-wear issues, resulting in additional costs
estimated at $15,000 or more next year. Ongoing repairs to meet state
requirements would be likely.
Bus Garage Capital Project Proposition also
A Proposition on the May 21 ballot will ask voters
to authorize renovation of the district’s bus garage at a maximum cost
not to exceed $813,000. Bus garage improvements would include
replacement of the fueling system and gas tanks; installation of a smoke
detection and fire alarm system; replacement of overhead doors;
replacement of an in-ground and an above-ground vehicle lift; and
re-piping of the drainage system.
The money comes from:
If the proposition is approved, the project will be financed by state
building aid at the present aid ratio of 83.3% (est. $677,229), the
existing capital reserve balance of $123,415, and the remainder from
available interest that has been earned in the capital fund
interest-bearing cash account.
Why is the proposition on the ballot?
The current fueling system and tanks are nearly 30
years old, and the first level of leak containment is no longer
effective, increasing the potential for fuel leaks and resultant fines.
The vehicle lifts are showing signs of age-related metal fatigue, a
safety concern. If the lifts become unusable, the district will lose the
ability to repair certain buses without going to an outside facility.
The addition of smoke detection and fire alarm systems, which were not
required when the bus garage was originally constructed, will increase
Residents will vote to elect Board of Education
Voters will cast ballots on May 21 for the election
of three members of the Board of Education for three-year terms
commencing on July 1, 2013, and expiring on June 30, 2016. The seats are
elected at-large. The open seats are currently held by Board of
Education members Edythe Schultz, Terry Burton and Marion Jaqueway. The
candidates for the seats are Daniel Guasp, Terry Burton, and Marion
When, where and how to vote on the proposed school
Schoharie Central School District residents will
vote on the district's proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year on
Tuesday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Jr./Sr. High School
Library lobby, 136 Academy Dr., Schoharie.
To vote, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, age
18 or older on May 21, 2013, and a legal resident of the school district
for a period of not less 30 days preceding the voting on May 21, 2013.
The school district may require all persons offering
to vote to provide one form of proof of residency, which may include a
New York State driver’s license, a non-driver photo identification card,
or a voter registration card. Upon offer of proof of residency, the
school district will require all persons offering to vote to provide
their written signature, printed name, and street address within the
established geographic boundary of the school district.
Absentee ballots procedure
Applications for absentee ballots for voting on the
budget, propositions and members of the board of education may be
obtained by contacting the office of the District Clerk, or by calling
(518) 295-6652. Completed applications must be received by the District
Clerk at least seven days before the election if the ballot is to be
mailed to the voter, or the day before the election if the ballot is to
be delivered personally.
Absentee ballots must be received by the District
Clerk at the polling place not later than 5 p.m. on May 21, 2013.
Community voices priorities, grapples with challenges,
poses questions at community budget forums
of Schoharie school community members discussed fiscal challenges,
and choices and issues that will affect students, schools and
taxpayers next year at budget forums on
Feb. 26 and March 26.
The community forums provided valuable feedback for use by the Board of
Education in crafting a final budget that will go before voters on May
21. The Board of Education and the district appreciate the
community's participation in the forums and encourage ongoing
participation in the budget process.
Resources for district residents:
Click on the links below; newest postings are top of the list
4/23/2013 Presentation of the Revised Tentative Budget for the
2013-14 School Year (posted to web 4/25/13 a.m.)
4/9/2013 Presentation of the Tentative Budget for the 2013-14 School
Year (pdf) (posted 4/11/13)
SCSD Election Legal Notice (pdf)
Understanding New York’s STAR Program (pdf) (Updated)
Community Budget Forum presentation (pdf)
Navigating through Year Two of New York’s Property Tax Levy Cap
(pdf) - An explanation of N.Y.'s property tax "cap" and how it
impacts schools and students
The three tax levy numbers under New York state’s tax levy “cap"
(pdf) - An explanation of tax levy limit, maxiumum allowable tax
levy, and proposed tax levy
New York’s Tax Levy “Cap”Formula: How does it add up?
(pdf)-Although often referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” New
York’s tax levy “cap” law does not restrict any proposed
tax levy increase to 2 percent. Pursuant to the law, each school
district must follow an 8-step calculation to calculate its
individual “tax levy limit.” That limit then determines what level
of voter support is required for budget approval.
Tax Levy “Cap” law raises the stakes for schools (pdf) - Contingency
budgets, budget votes - Under N.Y.'s tax levy “cap” law, there
is no longer a spending cap on contingent budgets, but instead, a 0
percent cap on the tax levy increase; explanation.
The rules that govern our schools and school budgets: Mandates &
mandate relief (pdf)
From Education Speaks.org:
Watch and Learn Special Edition: New York’s Tax Levy Cap (short
"It’s year two of New York’s tax levy cap, and yet despite all of
its publicity, there is a lot of misinformation out there about it.
Many school districts will come out with tax levy hikes of more than
2%. Are they over the tax cap? Not necessarily. Watch this short
video for a clear explanation of the tax levy limit law and why it
isn’t really a “cap” at all."
Presentation of the Updated Preliminary Budget for the 2013-14
School Year - 3/7/2013 (pdf)
Fiscal challenges, educational priorities and the
preliminary budget top the
discussion at Feb. 26 forum; District residents pose questions,
2/26/2013 Community Forum powerpoint presentation (pdf)
2/26/2013 Community Forum Discussion Questions (pdf)
Fiscal challenges, educational priorities will be the topics for
Schoharie Schools Forum on Feb. 26
2/7/2013 Presentation of the Preliminary Budget for the 2013-14
School Year (posted 2/8/2013)
2013-14 school budget development calendar (pdf)
In the news
Cost savings, shared services & grants benefit our
Contact info for elected officials
Information on the 2012-13 current school budget may
be found at the
2012 BUDGET ARCHIVE PAGE