Budget and Taxes

The school budget

Today’s students are growing up in a global, complex and competitive society that demands much more than a basic education. It is the duty and mission of DCS to provide students with a depth and breadth of educational programs and services that equip them with the skills and knowledge to be college and career-ready. The district also seeks to balance the needs of the community we serve while addressing rising costs. While budget planning takes on heightened focus from late winter until voting day in May, developing a school budget that both meets student needs and reflects community input is a year-long process. The district encourages the public to be a part of that process and help prepare our students for the future.

Residents approve 2020-21 budget, bus proposition

Duanesburg Central School District residents approved the proposed $17,565,000 budget for the 2020-21 school year by a vote of 747 to 416, which is a 64.2 percent approval.

Voters also approved a proposition to purchase three school buses (a 65-passenger, a 71-passenger and a 32-passenger gasoline-powered bus) at a cost not to exceed $287,000, by a vote of 715 to 460, which is a 60.85 percent approval.

District residents also voted to fill three vacancies on the Board of Education for terms beginning July 1, 2020. Candidate Camille Siano Enders was re-elected to the Board and will serve a three-year term. Write-in candidate Toni Amorosi will serve a three-year term and write-in candidate Betsy Wright will serve a one-year term on the Board.

The Board vacancies were for seats currently held by 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 from Siano Enders. Therefore, the qualified residents who received the highest number of votes, including candidate Siano Enders and write-in candidates who accept a position, win the vacant seats on the Board.

What’s in the budget

The approved 2020-21 school year budget increases spending by $200,000 (1.15 percent) over the current year’s budget and includes a 1.9 percent tax levy increase, which is significantly less than the 5.11 percent maximum tax levy increase allowed by the state and thus required a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) for approval.

The majority of budget expenditures are dedicated to the cost of educating students, preserving educational programming for students and avoiding cuts to their opportunities, while also being sensitive to the needs of the community. The budget supports instructional costs and programs; covers increased costs for contractual salaries, technology, BOCES needs and transportation; and preserves an adequate fund balance.  

As a three-part budget, 79.94 percent of the proposed 2020-21 budget will cover program expenses, 17.65 percent will cover capital expenses, and 8.41 percent will cover administrative expenses.

In the revenues side of the budget, state school aid was based on the original New York state budget, which provides no increase in foundation aid for the district over the current year. The budget considered 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.

The 2020-21 budget also 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.

Bus purchases approved

The approved purchase of a 65-passenger, a 71-passenger and a 32-passenger gasoline-powered bus 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

Archived & background information about the 2020-21 budget

COVID-19 -related update: Budget vote via absentee ballot

Annual school budget and board of education votes were postponed in March statewide under an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus. In delaying the votes, which were originally scheduled for May 19, the governor’s executive order said, “Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.”
School budget and proposition votes and Board of Education elections are being held via absentee ballot, which were sent to district residents and must be received at the DCS Central Office until 5 p.m. on June 9 via the dropbox, or by mail through June 16, 2020. To be counted, ballots may be dropped into the locked box outside the entrance to the Central Office for receipt by 5 p.m. on June 9 (the dropbox will then be closed and removed), or mailed to and received by the district by 5 p.m. on June 16.
Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order Executive Order No. 202.39:
“Sections 2018-a and 2018-b of the Education Law, to the extent necessary to allow any absentee ballot for an election held on June 9, 2020 and received by mail in the office of the clerk of the school district or designee of the trustees or school board not later than June 16, 2020 to be canvassed for such election. No ballots for such election shall be accepted by the clerk of the school district or designee of the trustees or school board after 5 p.m. on June 9, 2020 except those received by mail in accordance with this provision. Any receptacle used for hand delivery of absentee ballots in such election shall be closed and removed at 5 p.m. on June 9, 2020; The ballots therein shall remain unopened pending delivery of mailed ballots, and shall be removed and canvassed after 5 p.m. on June 16, 2020.”

Ballot dropbox outside DCS Central Office

Board of Education adopts proposed $17,565,000 budget  – 1.90% tax levy increase is significantly below limit; public hearing is June 2

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 meeting. The proposed budget includes a 1.90% tax levy increase.

A public hearing on the budget was held and broadcast remotely on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. :
June 2 Presentation on Adopted 2020-21 Budget
This is a detailed presentation on the adopted budget that was presented at the June 2, 2020 public budget hearing. 
View a recording of the June 2 public budget hearing.

Duanesburg Central School District Proposed 2020-21 Budget Documents
These documents include approved 2019-20 revenue and appropriations budgets and proposed 2020-21 revenue and appropriations budgets, property tax report card, school academic report card link (https://data.nysed.gov), audit reports and salary disclosure.  

Learn more about this year’s voting process 

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.

Budget development calendar

Members of the community are encouraged to attend Board of Education Meetings and Budget Work Sessions, which, due to the Covid-19 pandemic,  are broadcast remotely from March 2020 onward. The calendar below outlines the budget development process.

      • Late fall: Board of Education (BOE) reviews Budget Planning Calendar
      • December 10, 2019: BOE adopts calendar.
      • January 14 & 28, 2020: BOE meetings and budget discussion
      • February 11 BOE meeting & budget work session Feb. 11 Draft budget presentation  
      • March 10: BOE meeting & budget work session  Mar. 10 Draft budget presentation
      • March 24: BOE meeting & community budget presentation March 24 Draft budget discussion – text   March 24 Draft budget presentation
      • April 7: BOE meeting & community budget presentation  budget discussion – text     Apr. 7 Draft budget presentation
      • April 22: Special BOE meeting to vote on BOCES administrative budget
      • May 5: BOE meeting & budget discussion, via remote meeting
      • May 11:  Last day to submit BOE candidate petitions 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 Joshua Menzies (signatures not required due to COVID-19)
      • May 12 & TBA: Legal notices placed in local newspapers
      • May 20: Board of Education adopts proposed 2020-21 school year budget, via remote meeting
      • May 21: Adopted budget information posted to website
      • May 22: Informational postcard sent to district residents by this date noting the date of the annual budget vote, public budget hearing and definition of a qualified voter
      • May 22: Property tax report card sent to state
      • June 2: Public budget hearing, 6:30 p.m. (presentation of adopted budget) via remote meeting, adopted budget then made available to public. View meeting recording: https://youtu.be/b8nKn8Z5Vag
      • May: Absentee ballot applications available
      • May 29: Absentee ballots mailed to district residents
      • June: Budget notice mailed to all district residents
      • June 9 & 16: Annual budget vote by absentee ballot; ballots must be received at the DCS central office by 5 p.m. on June 9 using the locked ballot dropbox outside the entrance to the DCS Central Office or by mail (only) by 5 p.m. on June 16.
      • June 16: View livestream of ballot opening starting at 5 p.m. (links were provided on June 16); Vote results are announced once all ballots are counted. 

      2019-20 (current school year) budget information

      Duanesburg Central School District residents approved the proposed $17,365,000 budget for the 2019-20 school year on May 21, 2019 by a vote of 292 to 82, which is a 78 percent approval. The budget increases spending by $215,000 (1.25%) over the current year’s budget and includes a 0.0 percent (no) increase in the tax levy.  Voters also approved a proposition to purchase three gasoline-fueled school buses at a cost not to exceed $290,000, by a vote of 299 to 75, which is a 79.9 percent approval. They elected three district residents to serve on the Board of Education.

    • Resources about the current school year (2019-20) budget

    • 2019-20 Budget Presentation to Board May 7, 2019
      Duanesburg Central School District Proposed 2019-20 Budget Documents
      These documents include approved 2018-19 revenue and appropriations budgets and proposed 2019-20 revenue and appropriations budgets, property tax report card, school academic report card link (https://data.nysed.gov), audit reports, salary disclosure, and exemption reports.  

      For more budget information and resources, visit the budget resources webpage. 

      For assistance accessing any of the documents on this website, contact the DCS central office at (518) 895-2279.

      Audit Report

      An annual audit of district financials is conducted each fall of the prior year’s expenditures and financial condition.
      Duanesburg Financials 2019 Audit Report

      Reserve Fund Reports

      The reserve fund report is an annual document showing the status of reserve funds that are established by the district.
      Reserve Fund Report 2018-19 year
      Reserve Fund Report 2017-18 year

      School Taxes

      School tax rates are  a function of the tax levy, property assessments and each town’s equalization rate — a percentage level set by New York state that compares property assessment in towns to real estate market value.

      For more information about school taxes, including how to pay your bill and information about tax rates, visit the school taxes webpage.