On Monday, March 8, the Queensbury UFSD Board of Education adopted a $69.8 million budget proposal.
The proposed budget preserves the programs and services currently provided in Queensbury schools with a spending increase of $2,291,962 or 3.39%. After considering the budget proposal, residents will vote on a $525,000 proposition to purchase four 72-passenger buses, which would replace four older buses and maintain a replacement cycle. In addition, voters will also elect two candidates to fill open seats on the Queensbury Board of Education. The annual budget vote and Board of Education election will take place on Tuesday, May 18 from 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the QES Gymnasium.
District expected to receive additional federal funds; budget within tax cap
The Queensbury Union Free School District is pleased to share that it is expected to receive additional funds due to the American Rescue Plan Act.
Thanks to education advocates in both the state legislature and Congress, the district is expected to receive an additional $3.9 million of federal aid.
As a result of this aid, the district will be able to maintain all of our high-quality academic programming.
In addition, the school district and Board of Education will no longer seek a tax cap override in next year’s budget. The district’s ability to stay within the tax cap is a direct result of the additional federal funding. The district is expected to receive additional guidance in the next few months related to the new federal funding. We anticipate this federal funding will offset additional costs associated with COVID-19 and lessen the tax burden on Queensbury residents.
District remains below cap
The school tax levy, or total amount of money collected from local property owners, would increase by $729,374. This 2.01% increase is at the district’s tax levy cap, so budget approval requires a simple majority vote of 50% plus one. The tax levy accounts for 52.95% of the proposed budget. State aid will fund 37.67% of the proposed budget with $26,317,679 million coming from state aid. The district has saved considerably on benefits as a result of negotiations on healthcare. However, health insurance increases and pension costs remain a significant portion of the 2021-22 budget, increasing $596,809. It is estimated that a property with an average full-value assessment of $210,000 would pay an additional $68 in school taxes next year.
Education and fiscal goals shape budget
The Board of Education and district leaders developed the 2021-22 budget proposal with three goals in mind: maintain a strong instructional program, maintain tax rate stability from year to year and provide a cost-effective education that maintains the district’s long-term fiscal health.
Safety and high quality programming
The district has continued to highlight the importance of getting students on the right pathway early on for college and career. Success can be defined for students in multiple ways, whether it’s entering the workforce, earning an industry certification or on-time graduation from a two- or four-year college. In the proposed budget, 67.98% is dedicated to programming for students that moves away from the one-size-fits-all model of education and offers choices.
“We are so hopeful for the next school year,” said Superintendent of Schools Kyle L. Gannon. “The funds our district is receiving in federal and state aid will have a tremendous impact on classroom instruction and programming, as well as a positive impact on our taxpayers. We truly appreciate the school community’s support over the last year. This school budget represents in part, more of a return to normalcy, which we are all excited for.”