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District News: 2013-2014 School Budget

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 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.

 

Voters approve 2013-14 school budget and propositions

Schoharie Central School District residents approved a $21,018,989 budget Schoharie staff confirm budget voteproposal 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 227 "no" votes.

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 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 equalization rates.

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. SCS grads June 2102

This process 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 communities.

Schoharie Central is ever mindful of the many 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 printSchoharie 2013-14 budget publication

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 encouraged 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 percent.

A public budget hearing on the proposed budget will be on May 7. All are encouraged to attend.

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 Library.

 

 

Elementary students

 

 

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 regular basis?
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 defeated?

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 on ballot

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 safety.

 

Residents will vote to elect Board of Education members

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 Jaqueway.

 

When, where and how to vote on the proposed school budgetSCS voter

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

Superintendent Sherman presents preliminary budget information at Feb. 26 Schoharie Central School Community Budget ForumDozens 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

 Budget-related information


In the news


Cost savings, shared services & grants benefit our finances

 

Contact info for elected officials

 

 

Information on the 2012-13 current school budget may be found at the 2012 BUDGET ARCHIVE PAGE

 

 

[5/29/2013]

 

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