Board adopts proposed $17,565,000 budget for 2020-21 school year

The Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education adopted a proposed $17,565,000 budget for the 2020-21 school year at their May 20, 2020 meeting. 

Preserving opportunities for students, while keeping the tax levy significantly lower than the “cap”
The proposed budget would preserve educational programming for students, with no cuts to their opportunities, while being sensitive to the needs of the community. It would increase spending by $200,000 (1.15 percent) over the current year’s budget and includes a 1.9 percent tax levy increase. This is significantly less than the 5.11 percent maximum tax levy increase allowed by the state. This means the proposed budget requires a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) for approval. 

No foundation aid increase; judicious use of reserves
In the revenues side of the proposed budget, state school aid is based on the original New York state budget, which provides no increase in foundation aid for the district over the current year. The proposed budget considers retirement savings and uses the reserve fund and fund balance from unused 2019-20 expenses to avoid increasing the tax levy beyond 1.9 percent and to remain responsive to the needs of district residents.

What does the budget pay for?
The majority of budget expenditures are dedicated to the cost of educating students. The proposed budget would support instructional costs and educational programs; cover increased costs for contractual salaries, technology, BOCES needs and transportation; and preserve an adequate fund balance. 
As a three-part budget, 79.94 percent of the proposed 2020-21 budget would cover program expenses, 17.65 percent would cover capital expenses, and 8.41 percent  would cover administrative expenses.

Future state school aid concerns
The proposed 2020-21 budget was developed with the assumption of possible mid-year cuts in state aid to schools due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The district will continue to monitor the status of the economy and the potential for aid adjustments while analyzing purchases based on need.

May 20, 2020 presentation on proposed budget
This is a detailed presentation on the proposed budget that was adopted at the May 20 meeting.

Three vacancies on the Board of Education
When they vote on the proposed 2020-21 budget, district residents will also vote via absentee ballot to fill vacancies on the Board of Education for terms beginning July 1, 2020 for: two 3-year terms for seats currently held by Camille Siano Enders and Jennifer Sexton, and one 1-year term for the seat currently filled by Henry “Dirk” Felton due to the resignation of Henrietta “Hank” Dunn (and the prior resignation of Joshua Menzies).

All candidates run at-large, rather than for a specific Board seat. The district received one candidate petition for the three open seats; Camille Siano Enders is running for re-election to the Board. Therefore, the qualified residents who receive the highest number of votes, including candidate Siano Enders and valid write-in votes, will win the vacant seats on the Board.

Residents to vote on school bus purchase proposition
When they vote via absentee ballot on the proposed 2020-21 school year budget, residents will also vote on a proposition to purchase three school buses at a cost not to exceed $287,000, including a 65-passenger, a 71-passenger and a 32-passenger gasoline-powered bus.

The purchases are part of the district’s planned bus replacement program that keeps the fleet of vehicles that transport our children in safe, working order and in line with New York State safety standards.  Most of the cost of planned replacement vehicles is typically covered by state aid, reducing the cost to taxpayers. Why replace buses? Read more

How to vote
District residents will vote on the proposed budget, Board of Education candidates and bus purchase proposition via mail-in, absentee ballots, which are being mailed to them and which must be mailed back and received by 5 p.m. on June 9 at the DCS Central Office. Ballots also may be deposited into the locked dropbox outside the Central Office, but all ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on June 9.

Ballot dropbox outside DCS Central Office

Learn more about this year’s voting process 

Video: How to Vote on 2020-21 NYS School Budgets & Board Candidates:

How – and why – is this year’s budget vote changing? Read more in our Q & A on budget voting by absentee ballot during June 2020.

 

Visit the budget webpage for links to budget documents and more information.