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Voters to decide on $59.97 million budget proposal via absentee ballot

May 27, 2020

Your vote countsBudget would improve school safety, mental health & future-ready initiatives

South Glens Falls Central School District residents will vote on a proposed $59,967,402 spending plan for the 2020-21 school year. The proposed plan calls for a $1,516,224—or 2.59%—increase in spending over the current year’s budget.

If approved, the budget would increase the tax levy by 2.99%, which is below the district’s state-imposed tax levy limit of 3.56%. While final assessment figures are not available until August, it is projected that homeowners with an assessment of $100,000 will see their annual taxes increase approximately $34-$158, depending on the town where they live.

Voters will also elect three members to the board of education and vote on a bus proposition.

State aid affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

For the 2020-21 school year, SGF is anticipating a $943,536 decrease (a 3.69% decline) in foundation aid compared to the 2019-20 budget. Despite the decrease in aid, the district was able to save positions through reallocations following retirements. In addition, health insurance changes in the faculty association’s new contract, which was approved in April 2020, are expected to generate a net savings of approximately $474,000 in 2020-21. The district is also planning to use more than $1 million from its fund balance to make up for the loss in revenue.

“We are striving to be mindful of our taxpayers during these uncertain times, while balancing the educational, safety and emotional needs of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Kristine Orr.

This year, the state will be reviewing its revenue and expenses on an ongoing basis and adjust aid to schools and local governments if necessary. The year has been divided into three measurement periods: April 1-30, May 1-June 30 and July 1-Dec. 31. If the state’s revenue within these “look back periods” is less than 99 percent of the projected revenue, or its expenditures are more than 101 percent of projections, it can reduce aid. District leaders and the board of education will continue to review the district’s expenses and revenues throughout the year. Tax rates cannot change midyear.

How will the 2020-21 budget support the district’s areas of focus?

The South Glens Falls CSD is ensuring student success by focusing on three priority areas: safety, mental health and future-ready learning. The proposed 2020-21 school budget would support each of these areas and the work being done to improve school culture and student outcomes.

Safety

  • Addition of a Maintenance Mechanic II position to help maintain the district’s footprint, which has expanded as a result of the capital project.
  • Purchase and installation of security window film.
  • Security system updates.
  • Reopening safety measures, including items such as personal protective equipment and health supplies.

Mental Health

  • Reallocation of a teacher position following a retirement to become a 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) high school social worker. The high school does not currently have a designated social worker.
  • Addition of a “sensory room” at one elementary school.
  • Continuation of the Open Circle program, including teacher training, for K-5 student social-emotional support.

Future-Ready Learning

  • Reallocation of elementary teacher positions to create new STEM opportunities at all four of the district’s elementary schools.
  • Drama Club support, following the loss of revenue from the cancellation of the spring 2020 musical.

Also on the Ballot

Bus Purchase Proposition

Voters will decide on the purchase of two 72-passenger school buses, two 66-passenger school buses and two 30-passenger school buses at a maximum cost of $611,452.

The district will be reimbursed by the state for approximately 69.7 percent of the bus purchase cost. This purchase will not impact taxes until the 2021-22 school year.

Board of Education Election

Voters will elect three members to the board of education. The three candidates, who are all incumbents, include:

  • Dr. Christine Dawson
  • William Elder
  • Lisa Hogan

View candidate profiles here.

How will the vote take place?

Who can vote?

To vote in this election, you must be 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the South Glens Falls Central School District for at least 30 days prior to the vote and registered with Saratoga County Board of Elections.

Absentee ballots mailed to all registered voters

The 2020-21 budget vote and board of education election will take place exclusively by absentee ballot as a result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.26, issued Friday, May 1, 2020.

All qualified voters in the district will receive an absentee ballot with a postage paid return envelope in advance of the vote. Completed ballots must be received in person by the District Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

As per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.39, ballots will be accepted by mail only through June 16, 2020, for the vote and election.

Ballots will be opened and counted at the district’s Administrative Center, 6 Bluebird Road, South Glens Falls, beginning at 5 p.m., on Tuesday, June 16. Counting of the ballots will be visible through a livestream beginning at 5 p.m. View the livestream here.

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Category: District News