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2018-2019 School Budget Information  

Board of Education adopts $27.4 million proposed budget for 2018-19 school year

 

On Thursday, April 19, the Watervliet Board of Education adopted a $27,411,000 budget proposal for the 2018-19 school year. The proposed budget will be presented for public vote on Tuesday, May 15. The proposed fiscal plan increases spending 2.69 percent, or $719,000 more than the current-year budget. It maintains all academic programs, extracurricular opportunities, and instructional supports for students.

Also on the May 15 ballot, voters will elect two candidates to the Board of Education. Four candidates are vying for the two at-large seats.

Voting will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at two polling locations: Watervliet Elementary School and the Watervliet Elks Lodge.

The proposal carries a tax levy increase of 2.03 percent, which is below the district’s limit as determined by the state’s tax “cap” formula.

Under the proposed budget, district officials estimate school taxes would increase $16 more per $100,000 of assessed property value in the City of Watervliet, and $24 more per $100,000 of assessed property value in Mannsville. These tax estimates are based on current information. School tax rates are set after the district receives the final tax assessment roll in August.

Watervliet will receive a net increase of $412,000 in state aid next year, a 2.21 percent increase. This includes approximately $254,000 in foundation aid, which covers the daily costs of district operations. The remaining $158,000 of the increase represents expense-driven aid categories, such as transportation and BOCES aid, that the district receives as reimbursement for expenses incurred the previous year.

Superintendent Dr. Lori Caplan said the district has taken a conservative approach with its budget proposal.

“Essentially we have a status quo budget that will allow us to continue to offer the same level of programming to students,” said Dr. Caplan. “Where we can, we look to create new academic opportunities that are cost-neutral; for example, a new coding course at the high school next year.”

Recognizing that some students are better served in a non-traditional classroom setting, the district has budgeted for additional students to attend the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School, and the BOCES Pathways Academy, an alternative education program introduced by BOCES earlier this year.

“We are committed to providing educational experiences that meet the diverse needs of all our learners,” Dr. Caplan said. “We have 15 students enrolled in the BOCES Pathways program who were struggling to get by in the regular classroom and are now thriving. The feedback from the students and their parents has been overwhelmingly positive.”

To offset the spending increase in the 2018-19 budget, the district identified savings of $333,000 due to retirements, a decrease in charter school enrollment and a reduction in some BOCES services. In addition, the district will apply $300,000 from its fund balance.

The proposed 2018-19 school budget includes increases in the following areas:

WCSD

bullet graphicDirector of Literacy/Universal PreKindergarten from 11-month to 12-month position

bullet graphicProfessional development to support and prepare educators for phase-in over the next few years of the state's Next Generation Learning Standards

WES

bullet graphicOne additional lunch monitor

Academic program

bullet graphicOpportunities for BOCES Career & Technical Education and Pathways Academy

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

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