Board of Education adopts $58.1 million budget for the 2020-21 school year

The Board of Education on Monday, March 23, unanimously adopted a budget for the 2020-21 school year that totals $58,160,883, a 2.12% increase over the current school budget.

The spending plan carries a 2.66% tax levy increase, slightly below the 2.67% maximum tax levy for Scotia-Glenville set by the state using an eight-step formula.

The budget was approved during a remote session. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, board meetings are not being held in person but via Google Meet. Each board member was in attendance. Superintendent Susan Swartz, Assistant Superintendent Karen Swain and Business Administrator Andrew Giaquinto were also in attendance.

At this point, voting on the budget will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19 in the B-wing gym at the high school. The May 19 vote will also include a bus purchase proposal totaling $465,000 to purchase six buses – 2 35-passenger buses, 1 30-passenger vehicle, 1 24-passenger wheel chair bus, 1 72-passenger bus and 1 7-passenger suburban.

Swartz noted that the state is considering a number of options for school budget and Board of Education candidate votes, such as voting by absentee ballot or allowing school districts to approve budgets without a public vote as long as they are under the tax cap. Board elections could also be put off until the fall or later.

At the March 9 meeting, Swartz had proposed a series of reductions, mostly affecting administrator assignments, to plug a more than $514,608 initial gap in the first draft budget presented on Feb. 24.

Overall, there will be a reduction of 1.5 full-time equivalent staffing positions in the budget but no employees will lose their jobs. Health insurance costs will increase by 2 percent or $322,000. Transportation costs will increase by just 0.84% and Buildings and Grounds costs will rise by just 0.76%.

Taxes will pay for 53% of the budget, state aid will pay for 37% and 10% will come from other sources, such as fund balance and federal sources.

“I want to thank all of you,” Board President David Bucciferro told the administrative team about the budget. “The cuts were as painless as we probably could have done, though no cut are painless.”