Ballston Spa Community Supports School District Budget Proposal and Elects BOE Members
The Ballston Spa community approved the district’s 2017-2018 budget proposal of $90,340,742 with an unofficial vote of 1,156 voting yes and 285 voting no – a passing rate of 80.22%
The Board of Education candidates elected included Jeanne Obermayer who received a total of 963 votes, Lillian McCarthy who received a total of 917 votes and Michael O’Donnell who received a total of 910 votes. Challenger Katie Thimineur received a total of 633 votes.
The two candidates receiving the most votes begin three year terms in July 2017. The one year unexpired term will be filled by the candidate receiving the third highest number of votes and commence in July 2017.
“We’re appreciative of the community’s support of the budget plan we put forward,” said Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D., Superintendent of Ballston Spa CSD. “We will continue to balance fiscal responsibility while offering leading academic and co-curricular opportunities for our students.”
All of the additional propositions on the ballot were passed, including the replacement of school vehicles, support for the public library and the local recreation commission. For more information, please visit the district website at www.bscsd.org or call 884-7195.
April 13 UPDATE: BUDGET ADOPTION The Board of Education approved a proposed budget of $90,340,742 for the 2017-2018 school year after many discussions throughout the budget development process during the past several months. The adopted budget reflects a 2.1% budget increase, and a 2.9% tax levy increase, with an average 0.6% tax rate increase. The approximate tax impact is $22 for the average single family home assessed at $225,000 across the district (tax rates are set in August).
The fiscal plan sustains our investment in teaching and learning, supporting our budget and district goals as we constantly strive to provide value for our community’s investment. The proposed budget includes filling staffing positions that have been left vacant over the past several years as we work to meet program demands. Specifically, the budget supports:
reinstating a full time Orchestra Teacher to address Middle School/High School program demands in the performing arts,
reinstating a full time Technology Teacher to address district program goals in Computer and Technology coursework including offering national certifications in the building trades and AP Computer Science Principles,
reinstating full time Teacher Leaders to strengthen our teacher leadership within departments,
adding a part time English Language Arts instructor at the Middle School to support literacy at the 5th to 6th grade transition,
maintaining all current district wide athletic, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs at all levels.
The Board is also proposing several propositions on the ballot (with the budget) which include:
- purchasing vehicles at a maximum cost of $907,000,
- collecting $55,650 for Public Library funding,
- collecting $30,000 for the Ballston Area Recreation Commission.
Residents are encouraged to learn more about the proposed budget (see the Budget Newsletter or the final presentation below) and the school board election before the statewide budget vote on May 16, 2017. Several budget information sessions are scheduled before the vote, including a budget hearing and informational sessions in the community (see link on left).
April 6 UPDATE: The Board of Education received the final presentation of the 2017-18 budget proposal at their meeting last night. The proposed budget of $90,340,742 reflects a 2.1% budget increase, and a 2.9% tax levy increase, with an average 0.6% tax rate increase across the district (tax rates are set in August). The Board is scheduled to approve the proposed budget at the April 12 meeting. Additional details are in the April 5 budget presentation linked below.
March 15 UPDATE: The district received next year’s renewal rates for the cost of health insurance after the first budget proposal presentation and found that insurance rates will increase by $1.19 million, $400,000 less than originally projected. Factoring in the projected lower rate, the revised draft of the 2017-18 budget now shows a 2.1 percent increase over the current year’s budget to a total of $90.34 million.
No other changes have been made to the first draft of the 2017-18 budget, which was presented to the Board of Education on March 1. It maintains or enhances programs and staff at their current levels, including the restoration of several positions that were left vacant in recent years for budgetary reasons following staff retirements.
The Board approved propositions to be placed on the ballot with the budget proposal, including one to purchase vehicles at a maximum cost of $907,000, the collection of the Public Library funding at $55,650, and the collection of $30,000 for the Ballston Area Recreation Commission.
Please see the information and presentations below for the most current budget proposal information. The statewide school budget vote will take place on May 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
March 2 UPDATE: The first draft budget was presented at the March 1 Board of Education meeting. The projected Tax Cap for this year is 6.12%.
The draft budget supports all current academic programs, co-curricular and extracurricular activities and the district's goals and priorities. It represents a 2.6% spending increase over 2015-2016, with most of that attributed to health care costs. After accounting for health care costs, the proposed draft budget represents a 0.8% increase over last year. Revenue projections, including the tax levy, will not be presented until the state budget is adopted.
The draft budget proposes filling staffing positions that have been vacant over the past several years as we strive to meet program demands. Specifically, the budget supports reinstating 1.0 FTE Orchestra, 1.0 FTE Technology and 1.2 FTE Teacher Leader positions. The budget also supports adding 0.4 FTE ELA to the middle school to support literacy at the 5th to 6th grade transition.
There are two (2) full term Board seats and one (1) partial term Board seat up for election this year; they are currently held by Jeanne Obermayer, Tony Leva and Mike O'Donnell. The top 2 candidates who receive the most votes will fill the full term vacancies; the partial term will be filled by the third highest vote recipient. Nomination petitions are available starting March 15, 2017 from the Clerk of the Board in the District Business Office, 70 Malta Ave., Ballston Spa, NY 12020.
Please see the presentations below for the most current budget information.
February 2017 UPDATE: The first budget presentation was held at the February 15 Board of Education meeting. Various state aid proposals were reviewed, including policy perspectives and the regulatory environment that will drive political agendas from now until the state budget is adopted on April 1.
The Board of Education begins the 2017-2018 budget planning process in November/December 2016 with the annual review of budget goals, budget principles and guidelines and the political landscape that impacts the district's revenue. With continued policy changes at both the federal and state levels, including many unanswered question with regard to the November 2016 elections, the politics of public education remain dynamic. State aid will be the biggest variable throughout this budget process, as the current Foundation Aid formula is not fully funded. The underfunding of the formula currently represent a net loss to the district of approximately $-2.9 Million.
The 2017-2018 budget also represents continued declining revenue from the GLOBALFOUNDRIES property as a result of decreased assessments. From FY 2017 through FY 2031, the property will decrease in value by approximately $500 Million. For next year, the property's assessment is reduced by approximately $-35 Million. All of the aforementioned will be discussed in detail throughout the budget planning process over the next several months.
The Board will adopt the budget proposal in April so please stay tuned to the development of the budget plan, attend upcoming Board of Education meetings on February 15, March 1 &15 and April 5 & 12, and/or contact us for more information. This year’s final Budget Hearing is scheduled for May 4 and the statewide school budget vote is on May 16, 2017.