Queensbury Board Adopts 2018-19 School Budget Proposal
April 10, 2018
The Queensbury Board of Education is proposing a budget for the 2018-19 school year that would increase spending by 0.76 percent to maintain the K-12 education program for Queensbury students. It adopted the $63,309,837 budget proposal during its regular meeting on Monday, April 9.
Eligible residents will vote on the proposed budget, as well as a bus purchase proposition and school board candidates, on Tuesday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Queensbury Elementary School Gymnasium, 431 Aviation Rd.
The 2018-19 school budget is $478,090 more than the budget for the current school year, which is an increase of less than one percent. (View the budget presentation shared during the board meeting.) Expense areas seeing the greatest increase are salaries and state-mandated retirement contributions, but the district will achieve some savings by reducing five to seven staff positions through anticipated retirements and attrition. These staffing reductions, while beneficial for the budget, are primarily a reflection of current and projected student enrollment numbers.
Health insurance costs also will remain flat next year due to negotiated savings in employee contribution rates.
“We use a variety of strategies to control costs, and certainly thoughtful contractual settlements by the Board of Education is one of them. Employees agreeing to concessions in healthcare will help blunt the impact of rising costs in other mandated and contractual areas,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Douglas W. Huntley.
Next year state aid will support about 38 percent of the cost of the Queensbury education program. The district was allotted a $374,695 or 2.5 percent increase in Foundation Aid, but a reduction in building aid reimbursements will mean a decline in overall state aid of about $1 million or -4.1 percent.
After factoring in all other revenue sources, local property taxes will cover 54 percent of the proposed school budget. The school tax levy, or total amount of money collected from local property owners, would increase by $966,998. This 2.91 percent increase is tax cap compliant, so budget approval requires a simple majority vote of 50 percent plus one.
“I think this budget does a good job of balancing the hiqh-quality education our families expect with the resources our community can provide to support it,” said Huntley.
Also on the Ballot
After considering the budget proposal, residents will vote on a $488,740 proposition to purchase one 72-passenger school bus and three 42-passenger school buses. This would allow the district to replace four aging buses and maintain a 10-year replacement cycle, based on the typical lifespan of a school bus. 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 on old buses, the total local cost for the proposition is $171,000.
Voters also will elect candidates to fill two open seats on the Board of Education, which currently are held by members Amy Molloy and Dr. Michael Shea. Those interested in submitting a board candidate petition should call (518) 824-5604 during the week between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to receive a candidate packet. The deadline for all candidates' petitions is Monday, April 16.
The annual school budget hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in the Queensbury Elementary School Cafeteria, 431 Aviation Rd.
Visit the budget web page to learn more or look for the budget issue of the Connections district newsletter in early May.