After six weeks of review and discussion, the
Board of Education unanimously adopted a budget for the 2012-13
school year that complies with the state’s property tax levy cap for Scotia-Glenville of 2.93 percent and would raise the typical S-G tax bill by about $95 per year.
The $47,829,155 budget approved by the board would increase spending by 1.59 percent, or $748,240.
If town assessments and state equalization rates remain steady, a 2.93 percent tax levy increase may mean a $95 annual increase (less than $8 per month) for the typical homeowner with a $160,000 assessment. Final tax rates are set by the Board of Education in August.
The budget proposal will be considered – along with two candidates for the Board of Education – during community voting on Tuesday, May 15. Voting will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the high school’s old gymnasium.
A formal hearing on the spending plan is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, at the middle school cafeteria.
On Friday, the approved state budget approved a $150,000 increase in state aid - beyond what the governor had announced in January. At that time, he announced a $130,000 bump in aid for Scotia-Glenville. However, the gap elimination adjustment still totals $3 million. That is money that is subtracted from Scotia-Glenville's aid total to help the state fill it's fiscal hole.
Superintendent Susan Swartz said tonight that $100,000 of the state aid boost would be used to restore one of the two elementary librarian positions that had been proposed for elimination and part of the middle school guidance counselor. Labor unions, including the Scotia-Glenville Teachers Association, are now considering concessions that would restore the remaining part of the guidance position and potentially other programs.
Before packed Board of Education meetings in March, Superintendent Susan Swartz methodically reviewed each program and staffing area slated for reductions, which would total $2.3 million.
The adopted 2012-13 budget:
▪ Eliminates 40.3 full-time staff positions, including teaching and non-teaching positions (four retirements, one elementary librarian, part of a middle school guidance counselor position, elementary OPAL enrichment position, float nurse – leaving one nurse for each school and a grade 2 teacher at Sacandaga as well as other positions), teaching assistants, aides and monitors. Scotia-Glenville has about 500 staff members; these reductions represent about 8 percent of the total.
▪ Eliminates two administrative positions. The principals at Glen-Worden and Lincoln will not longer be shared with other departments, as they are this year. Over the past two years, four administrative posts have been cut. The specifics of the reconfiguration next year are still being developed.
▪ Eliminates summer school; driver’s education; field trips; late bus runs; the grade 6 foreign language program; 1-2-3 Success; Young Scholars; and substitute cleaners.
▪ Reduces athletics by $115,000 (total budget for athletics is $400,000); equipment and supplies; business office spending and summer grounds helpers.
Seven weeks of review
The ‘roll over’ budget discussed on Feb. 13 was reduced by the $2.3 million to comply with the cap maximum. That budget would raised taxes by an unacceptable 12 percent. Presentations were made March 5, March 12, March 19 and March 26 as the reductions were made to the spending plan.
Community Budget Forums were also held on March 21 and 24 to further explain the state’s property tax cap, the spending reductions and options for the future.
In addition, the school district’s website, ScotiaGlenvilleSchools.org received and posted more than 80 comments, questions and concerns through a forum link begun in mid-February.