Scotia-Glenville schools put forward $62.9 million budget proposal

Scotia-Glenville High School sign
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SCOTIA — Residents within the Scotia-Glenville Central School District next month will decide the fate of a proposed $62.9 million operating budget for the 2023-24 academic year that would increase the tax rate by 2.09%. 

The proposed budget increases spending by more than $2.6 million from the current $60.2 million spending plan, the equivalent of 4.45%, while maintaining all current programming, including mental health services, a school resource officer and academic offerings. 

Voters must approve the proposed spending plan during a May 16 referendum.

Under the proposal, the district’s tax levy would increase by 2.99%, or $941,814, bringing the total amount raised by taxes to $32.4 million from the current $31.5 million. Historically, the district’s tax levy increase has been at or below 3%. 

The estimated tax rate would grow to $24.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the equivalent of 2.09%, below the district’s cap of 4.33%. If approved, a property valued at $160,000 would see an additional $79.84 tacked onto their annual school tax bill.  

In addition, the district is expecting to receive $15.5 million in state Foundation Aid, a $1.1 million increase, of 8.26%, from the current year. 

School board members unanimously adopted the budget back in March following weeks of work sessions. The process began with a $63.1 million proposal that would have raised the tax levy by 4.08%, before the plan was whittled down.

To reduce the initial spending proposal, board members agreed not to replace a retiring high school science teacher and reducing a reading teacher who retired to a part-time position, and changed plans to add two additional sections of kindergarten to just one, bringing the number of kindergarten classes to seven, up from the current six. 

“Everyone in this room would tell you we have more needs than we can meet,” Superintendent Susan Swartz told the school board. “In a perfect world there would be lots of things we would do here if money were no object. However, I would just remind the board that you have done a really good job of trying to move things forward and still be mindful of both the tax levy cap and also what our community can bear.”

Also on the May 16 ballot is a $415,000 school bus purchase proposition that includes plans to purchase a 72-passenger school bus, a 57-passenger bus with wheelchair capacity and a Chevrolet Suburban. The proposition is not expected to have an impact on taxes, according to the district. 

Four candidates are also seeking to fill three open Board of Education seats, including a vacancy left by David Bucciferro, who is not running for his seat after he was elected Scotia mayor last year. 

Pamela Carbone and Richard Frederick are running for reelection, while Karnjit Singh and Kimberly Boucher Furnish are hoping to be elected.

A meet the candidates night and public hearing the the budget proposal are scheduled to take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the middle school cafeteria, 10 Prestige Parkway, Scotia. 

The district’s budget vote is scheduled to take place May 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school B-wing gym, 1 Tartan Way, Scotia.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

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