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Budget update: Advocacy and recommended changes for 2018-19

The Schalmont Board of Education received an update on the budget process at its March 12 meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Carol A. Pallas and Business Administrator Joseph Lenz reviewed the process so far and went over some recommendations for 18-19 school budget.

“It’s important for the Sabre community to understand that nothing is set in stone at this time,” said Pallas. “These are recommendations based on the information we have right now. We still have several meetings with staff, department heads, and the budget advisory committee to conduct before we bring a final proposal to the board.”

Among the recommendations is to decrease class size at K-6 by adding a section, reduce administrator positions from 12 to 11 month for assistant principals, and institute a new salary schedule for the athletic director position.

Click here to view the full presentation [PDF].

Between the initial and second board updates, Pallas and superintendents from throughout the Capital Region advocated for school funding at the NYS Legislature.

The superintendents spoke out against changes to state and BOCES aid formulas that would cause local taxes to rise.

The Governor’s budget proposal calls for a cap on expense-based aids, the type of aid a district receives when using a BOCES shared service, for example. The proposal calls for a 2 percent cap on the growth in major expense-based aid categories such as construction and transportation beginning in the 2019-20 school year.

Schalmont’s maximum allowable tax levy limit is 2.6% under the tax cap calculation. This could raise an additional $730,000 in local taxes. So, the board is faced with a couple of options to consider:

It could propose a budget requiring a tax levy at or below the tax levy limit prescribed by law. This would require a simple majority (50% + 1 voter approval). Or it could decide to propose a budget requiring a tax levy above the tax levy limit of 2.6%. This would require a supermajority of 60% voter approval.

The board will take another look at the budget at its March 26 meeting. The public is encouraged to attend.

Read about the first look at the budget here.

Next Steps

     • March 26th: BOE Meeting/Public Forum
        o Adoption of Special Propositions
    • March 29th: BOE Candidate’s last day to file
    • April 9th: BOE Meeting
        o Superintendent’s Third Draft of Budget
        o BOE adopts 2018-19 Budget