School Budget Vote

  • Q: When and where is the school budget vote?

    A: The public vote for the school budget and Board of Education vacancies is held the third Tuesday of May in the Queensbury Elementary School gymnasium from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (May 15, 2018).

    Q: Who is eligible to vote?

    A: Residents of the Queensbury Union Free School District who are United States citizens, at least 18 years old, and residents for at least 30 days prior to the vote are eligible.

    Q: Do I need to register to vote?

    A: Voter registration is required. If you are registered with the county for general elections, you are automatically registered for school elections. A school budget vote registration day is also set annually for a date in May from 1-7 p.m. in the Queensbury High School lobby (May 7, 2018). Proof of residency is required.

    Eligible voters who are unable to vote in person for reasons determined by law may apply for an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots are made available in April and must be returned to the district clerk’s office at least seven days prior to the election if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter (May 8, 2018) or the day before the election if the ballot is to be issued to the voter in person (May 14, 2018). Absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the vote. Call 824-5604 for more information or stop by the district office at 429 Aviation Rd., Queensbury.

    Q: How much of the budget do residents vote on?

    A: Residents vote on the entire budget as a whole. This is a “YES” or “NO” vote on giving the district permission to spend up to the budgeted amount in the coming fiscal year. The district cannot spend more than the amount approved by voters.

    Q: Will there be any additional propositions to vote on besides the budget proposal?

    A: Yes. The May 2018 ballot includes a $488,740 proposition to purchase one 72-passenger school bus and three 42-passenger wheelchair buses. If approved, it would allow the district to replace four aging buses and maintain a 10-year replacement cycle. The bus replacement plan is based on the typical lifespan of a school bus. It helps the district avoid steep increases in repair costs when warranties run out and rust erosion becomes an issue. The clean diesel technology in newer buses also helps keep emissions near zero. State transportation aid would cover 65 percent of the principal and interest costs over the five-year finance period. When combined with trade-in savings, the total local cost for the proposition is $171,000.

    Voters also will elect candidates to fill two open seats on the Queensbury Board of Education. 

    Q: What happens if the budget and/or the propositions are defeated?

    A: If a proposed budget is defeated by voters, a school district has the option of putting the same or a revised budget up for a revote, or adopting a contingent budget.

    Contingent budget requirements prohibit spending in specific areas, including community use of buildings, certain salary increases and new equipment purchases. A contingent budget also means a district may not increase its current tax levy by any amount, and exemptions no longer apply. Once a contingent budget is established, community residents are no longer allowed to petition boards of education to put additional items up for a separate vote. Learn how contingent budgets raise the stakes for public schools (PDF).

    The approval or defeat of an individual proposition does not have any impact on the approval or defeat of the school budget proposal.