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 candidates Toni Amorosi will serve a three-year term and Betsy Wright a one-year term 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
Three open seats on the Board of Education
There were three vacancies to be filled on the Board 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 for the Board.
Candidate Camille Siano Enders was re-elected to the Board and will serve a three-year term. Write-in candidates Toni Amorosi will serve a three-year term and Betsy Wright a one-year term on the Board.