#VoorheesvilleCentralSchoolDistrict #Budget #Voorheesville #SchoolBudget #AliHibbs #SpotlightNews
VOORHEESVILLE—On Tuesday, April 17, the Voorheesville Central School District Board of Education approved a 2018-19 budget of $24,718,575—an increase of $531,052, or 2.19 percent, from the current year.
While the estimated tax levy is $17,662,147, a 2.50 percent increase from 2017-18, it still falls below the state-mandated tax cap of 2.78 percent.
“We included the elimination of three positions due to retirements to save expenses,” said VCSD Superintendent Brian Hunt. “In all three cases, the job duties of those positions will be redistributed among existing employees,” adding that the cuts do not have a direct impact on student instruction.
The three positions that will be eliminated following retirement are a business office secretary, a computer teacher and a teaching assistant.
“The NYS aid increase was only 1.7 percent, and our tax levy increase is 2.5 percent, below the 2.78 percent [state-mandated tax cap] for the district,” explained Hunt. “The budget preserves our core instructional programs.”
The 2018-19 proposed budget would increase spending for distance learning by $23,500, to allow students to take classes that the district is unable to offer including Introduction to Computer Programming; JAVA Programming; Italian 1; Mandarin Chinese 1; Sign Language 1; and Sports History.
In addition to the budget, district voters will also be asked to weigh in on three ballot proposals and elect two board members.
Incumbent board members, Vice-President Cynthia Monaghan and Michael Canfora, are both running unopposed for re-election to another four-year term.
Bus Purchase Proposition: VCSD is proposing to purchase one 65-passenger International School Bus and one 28-passenger TransTech School Bus for a cost not to exceed $178,000.
The district intends to auction off Bus #103 (59 passenger), which has more than 111,200 miles and Bus 114 (28 passenger), which has more than 133,100 miles.
According to VCSD, the district runs buses for 10 to 13 years, as they must continuously meet stringent state Department of Transportation inspection requirements. The new buses will be paid for with a five-year Statutory Installment Bond and the district will receive state funding for the bus purchases over those five years for approximately 56 percent of the cost.
Capital Reserve Fund: A Capital Reserve Fund is a voter-approved fund that school districts set up for a long-term capital improvement project. While the account allows districts to contribute up to $10 million on an annual basis, the money accumulated can only be used for a large building project or renovation.
Explaining that the Capital District Regional Planning Commission projected district enrollment to grow by 168 students over the next five years, Hunt said, “We can handle that within our existing buildings, but if enrollment were to grow more in the out years, the district might have to consider building additional instructional space. The new capital reserve will help prepare us for that.”
Capital Improvement Project Proposition: The Capital Project Proposition will allow the district to make a variety of improvements to its aging facilities. Part of the elementary school will receive a new roof, which is in need of replacement, as well as a new boiler and water heater and a new secure vestibule for visitors to enter the facility. The high school /middle school campus updates include the replacement of 60-year-old windows and unit ventilators in classrooms and energy efficient infrastructure upgrades to ventilation systems, temperature controls and boilers. Improvements would also include the renovation of three classrooms—two earth science rooms and a technology room, energy efficient lighting upgrades and a new air conditioning unit for the Performing Arts Center. The district would also install a new fire alarm system and add a new makerspace room.
District residents can vote between 2 and 9 p.m. in the foyer of the middle school at 432 New Salem Road on Tuesday, May 15. There will be a budget hearing on Monday, May 7, in the high school library on the same campus.