Board adopts proposed budget

At their April 9 meeting, the Duanesburg Board of Education adopted a proposed $17,365,000  budget for the 2019-20 school year. Polls will be open for district residents to vote on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 21, from 1-9 p.m. in the elementary school lobby.

The proposed budget would increase spending by $215,000 over the current year’s budget and includes a 0.0 percent (no) increase the tax levy. With no increase, the tax levy change is below the district’s maximum allowable levy increase (“cap”) of 0.44 percent, and so the proposed budget requires a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) for approval.

The largest portion of the proposed budget, more than 74 percent, would fund educational programs and services. The largest share of the budget increase for 2019-20 would cover instructional costs, including salaries and benefits, as well as programs, including the addition of Advanced Placement courses in biology and capstone seminar/English at the high school, and a teacher aide at the elementary school.

Costs are also expected to rise for energy and facility maintenance and improvements, and the proposed 2019-20 budget would cover replacement of a 15-year-old work-truck/salter/plow.

Propositions to be considered

In addition to considering the 2019-20 budget when they go to the polls on May 21, district residents will vote on a proposition to purchase three gasoline-fueled school buses, a 65-passenger bus, a 71-passenger bus and a 21-passenger wheelchair-compatible bus, at a cost not to exceed $290,000. The bus purchases would be part of the district’s planned school bus replacement program.

Residents will also vote to fill three seats on the Board of Education. Two candidates will serve three-year terms beginning July 1 for seats currently held by Kent Sanders and Deborah Grier, whose terms expire June 30, 2019. One candidate will serve until June 30, 2021 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of board member Joshua Menzies.

Meet the Candidates Night is May 9

All Board of Education candidates run at-large, rather than for a specific board seat. Of the  three candidates winning election, the individual with the least number of  votes will serve the shorter term. A Meet the Candidates Night will be held by  the Duanesburg Community PTA on May 9 at 7 p.m. at the high school.