Tax increase below 2 percent; state aid restores OPAL and late buses
The Scotia-Glenville Board of Education's decision last week to wait and see if more state aid would trickle in before adopting the 2011-12 budget proved to be a good move. An additional $400,000 from the state restored some of the district's proposed cuts.
The budget totals $47.08 million and will result in a tax rate increase of 1.86 percent. For each $1,000 in assessed value there is an estimated tax increase of 37 cents. For an average Glenville home assessed at $160,000, the tax increase would result in an additional $59.45 per year. Spending also decreases by $248,246 in the approved budget compared to the previous year.
As painful as it was, we are in much better shape than many of our neighboring schools. That is not to minimize how hard the board has worked and how hard my team has worked, said Superintendent Susan Swartz. "I would attribute it to a long history of conservative budgeting."
BOE President Pamela Carbone credited Swartz with "thinking outside of the box" and coming up with alternative ways to save money and still be able to do the needed things.
During the previous meeting, after the public hearing on the budget, board members reinstated the purposed cuts to the 1-2-3 Success Program, funding to the sixth grade exploratory foreign language program and summer school for sixth to 12th grade students.
After realizing additional state aid, the board followed through on their vow to restore one OPAL teacher for one year, which is a program to help gifted students. The agreement for the restoration was also pending a reorganization of the program. The restored teacher will work with students in kindergarten to second grade, and a library media specialist will work with grades three to five for the upcoming school year. The board's plan is to have a similar program run by the library media specialists.