District voters approve 2016-2017 Budget Proposal
The Ballston Spa community approved the district’s 2016-2017 budget proposal of $86,352,617 with an unofficial vote of 76%voting yes and 24% voting no. (1134 -363)
The Board of Education candidates elected include Susan Filburn who received a total of 939 votes and Dottie Sellers who received a total of 837 votes. Challenger Katie Thimineur received a total of 633 votes. The top two candidates will serve for a three-year term commencing in July 2016.
“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 Capital Improvement Plan, the replacement of school vehicles, the public library and the local recreation commission. For more information, please visit the district website at www.bscsd.org or call 884-7195.
Board of Education Adopts Budget Proposal for 2016-17
The Ballston Spa Central School District Board of Education approved a proposed budget of $88,459,730 for the 2016-2017 school year on April 20, 2016. The adopted budget reflects a 2.4% budget increase and a 1.9% tax levy increase, with a projected 0.9% average tax rate increase across the district (final tax rates are set in August).
The annual statewide School Budget Vote and Board of Education Elections will be held May 17, 2016 from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm. District residents vote in either the Malta Town Hall (residents of Malta) or the Ballston Spa High School (residents of Milton, Ballston and Charlton).
Voters in the district are encouraged to learn more about the proposed school budget by attending community budget presentations during the coming weeks. The mandated Budget Hearing will be presented at 6:30 pm on May 4, 2016, prior to the regular Board of Education meeting in the High School library.
School district representatives will present information and answer questions from interested residents at 6:30 pm on May 2, 2016 at the Ballston Town Hall, May 9, 2016 at the Milton Community Center or May 11, 2016 at the Malta Community Center. Or attend a “Drop-in Session” at the District Office, 70 Malta Avenue, on May 9, 2016 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm for an informal discussion with the Superintendent.
In addition, please call the district’s budget hotline with specific questions for the Assistant Superintendent for Business at 884-7195 ext. 1320. Questions and comments may also be sent via the comments section on the district website.
April 6 Update: At the April 6 Board meeting, the Board reviewed the final recommended 2016-2017 budget, including all revenue projections. We continue to meet all budget goals and support district goals, and have advanced programs such as 18 additional courses for college credit, math support courses and labs at the middle school and high school and additional partnerships with Proctors and SPAC to provide Digital Media Coursework and Dance while containing costs through attrition and efficiency. The additional state aid this year helped offset the revenue loss from the declining assessment at GLOBALFOUNDRIES and minimize the local tax impact. The Board will adopt the budget at the April 20 Board meeting.
The Bottom Line:
2016-2017 Budget: $88,459,730
2.4% increase from 2015-2016
1.9% Tax Levy Increase
8 Year Average Tax Levy Increase: 2.1%
Legislative Update: In one house budget proposals by the Senate and the Assembly, the GEA has been fully restored for next year. This is an additional $925,000 for the district, and a critical revenue for next year's budget. It is expected that final revenue projections will be available on or about April 1.
The Board of Education began 2016-2017 budget planning in December 2015 with the annual review of budget goals and the political landscape that impacts the district's revenue. With recent policy changes at both the federal and state levels, the politics of public education remain dynamic. The Governor presented his proposed budget on January 13, 2016, which falls very short of the state aid that is still owed to school districts. Currently, taking into account the Governor's proposal, the district is still owed approximately $925,000 in GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) funds, or aid that was revoked from the district dating back to 2010. We are still also owed approximately $2.6 Million in Foundation Aid. Advocacy for the full GEA reimbursement is and remains a top priority throughout the state budget process.
The 2016-2017 budget also represents first year the district will receive 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 district is losing approximately $250,000 in revenue as a result of this declining assessment. All of this will be discussed in detail throughout the budget planning process over the next several months.
There are two (2) Board seats up for election on May 17; they are currently held by Board Vice President Sue Filburn and Dottie Sellers. Nomination petitions are available 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.