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2017-2018 School Budget Information  

Board of Education adopts $26.7 million proposed budget for 2017-18 school year

 

On Wednesday, April 12, the Watervliet Board of Education unanimously adopted a $26,692,000 budget proposal for the 2017-18 school year. The proposed budget, which will be presented for public vote on Tuesday, May 16, would increase spending by 2.0 percent, or $530,000 more the current year's budget.

The budget proposal supports all academic programs and provides additional support in targeted areas to meet student needs. The proposal carries a tax levy increase of 0.7 percent—the district’s limit as determined by the state’s tax “cap” formula. Because the district meets its tax levy limit, school budget approval will require a simple majority vote (50 percent plus one vote).

The legislature approved the New York state budget on April 9, which included additional aid for schools. Watervliet will receive a net increase of 1.5 percent, or $276,000 more in state aid next year. That is less than the $334,000 in aid originally projected because of a $56,000 decrease in expense-driven aids for BOCES services and transportation after these costs came in under budget during this current school year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lori Caplan said the funding increase, combined with a reduction in pension costs and other savings due to retirements and lower transportation costs, will allow the district to maintain all current programs and services, while providing a few additional teachers to support struggling learners and special education students at both schools.

“As a district, we are slowly trying to rebuild programs and provide the opportunities that our students need and deserve,” said Dr. Lori Caplan. “That includes reinstating some programs, like modified sports, that had been eliminated in recent years to reduce costs.”

The proposed 2017-18 school budget includes increases in the following areas:

WES staffing

bullet graphicAdd one full-time classroom teacher

bullet graphicIncrease part-time reading teacher to full-time

 WHS staffing

bullet graphicAdd one full-time English as a New Language teacher

bullet graphic Increase part-time reading teacher to full-time

WCSD staffing

• Full-time special education teacher

Reinstate modified sports

bullet graphicFootball, Boys/Girls Soccer, Boys/Girls Basketball, Boys/Girls Cross Country, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball & Boys/Girls Outdoor Track

Academic program

bullet graphicIntroduce two new courses in business & technology

bullet graphicIncrease textbook expenditures to fully implement Go Math K-8 curriculum

bullet graphicSummer “Enrichment Academy” through ExTRA grant for students in grades K-8

bullet graphicPartnership with South Colonie school district for grades 9-12 summer school

bullet graphicIncrease the number of slots available to attend BOCES Career & Technical Education program from 8 to 12 students

 

Other propositions on the May 16 ballot

Proposition 2

bullet graphic5-year bus lease – The district’s current lease of its three buses expires June 30. This proposition would allow the district to bid for the lease of three new buses to continue to provide the current level of transportation services to students.

Proposition 3

bullet graphicA separate proposition to support the Watervliet Public Library through a separate library tax. The Watervliet Public Library Board of Trustees asked the district to place a proposition on its ballot to levy a library tax of $150,000 to support the library’s programs and activities.

     NOTE: As a separate proposition, this is not part of the school district’s budget. Library taxes are voted on separately and do not benefit nor detract from the school budget.