UPDATED: Voorheesville voters approve school budget

Bus and reserve fund propositions pass; uncontested board incumbents

— Voorheesville Central School District residents approved increasing taxes by more than 3 percent under a $22.56 million spending plan for next school year.

The approved 2013-14 budget increases spending by almost $694,000, or 3.14 percent, and holds a property tax levy increase of 3.23 percent, which is within the district’s tax cap limit. Around 57 percent of voters approved the budget on Tuesday, May 21, by a vote of 459 for and 341 votes against. Voters also approved the district’s bus purchase and fund reserve transfer propositions.

Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder was pleased residents passed the budget and thanked them for their support.

“We have endured dramatic decreases in state aid, which has accumulative negative impact,” Snyder said in a statement to The Spotlight. “We have worked really hard to protect our classroom instruction and not a single teacher was cut this year.”

Most area school districts are projected to receive more state aid next school year, but Voorheesville is receiving nearly $196,000 less, or a 3.7 percent reduction, for a total of $5.1 million.

“If there is not some adjustment in state aid distribution, especially in light of the numerous expensive expectations imposed on schools, it will become increasingly likely that the budgeting processes will be more complex and confounding,” Snyder said. “Eventually, schools will be faced with making even more difficult choices.”

There were two main reasons the district will receive less state aid next school year, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Gregory Diefenbach. In the district’s 2012-13 budget, full-day kindergarten was implemented, and Voorheesville received almost $250,000 to help with the transition. That one-time funding boost left a gap this year, and the district’s transportation aid was also affected by the change.

Switching to full-day K reduced the number of daily bus routes. Transportation aid is based on the previous school year’s expenses, so as the district realized savings it also sees reduced aid. The reduction in transportation aid was more than $60,000.

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