Board of Education adopts 2019-20 school budget proposal
On Monday, April 8, the Queensbury Board of Education adopted a $65,394,049 budget proposal for the 2019-20 school year. Queensbury Union Free School District residents will vote on the proposal on Tuesday, May 21, from 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. in the Queensbury Elementary School Gymnasium, 431 Aviation Rd.
The May ballot will include a $466,247 proposition to purchase four 72-passenger buses, which would replace four older buses and maintain a 10-year replacement cycle.
Voters also will elect candidates to fill two seats on the Queensbury Board of Education. Both seats are for full five-year terms.
Education and Fiscal Goals Shape Budget
The school board and district leaders developed the 2019-20 budget with three goals in mind:
- Maintain a strong instructional program.
- Maintain tax rate stability from year to year.
- Provide a cost-effective education that maintains the district’s long-term fiscal health.
“The Board of Education has spent a lot of time developing the 2019-20 budget,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Douglas W. Huntley. “They reviewed all aspects of the proposed budget in workshop settings and Board meetings, resulting in a budget that supports a high-quality education for the students at Queensbury while staying within the tax cap.”
The proposed budget preserves the programs and services currently provided in Queensbury schools with a spending increase of $2,084,212 or 3.29 percent.
Facility Upgrades Support Programming
As work continues on the Legacy 2020 Capital Project, the district will receive building aid in the 2019-20 budget, money that is given to a school district for facilities work. The capital project continues to positively impact the district’s overall educational program by providing updated spaces that promote a new way of teaching and learning.
The district has also made facility upgrades at each building that focus on safety and security. In each building, video cameras, PA systems and controlled entry points have been installed to further ensure the safety of students and staff.
“We always try to find a balance of providing the educational program the community wants with taxes the community can support,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business Scott Whittemore. “This budget does that. We’re aware this is a big expense for taxpayers and we have to be reasonable with our proposed educational budget.”
District Remains Below Cap
State aid will fund 38.3 percent of the proposed budget with a $1.1 million aid increase.
Local property taxes will fund 53.8 percent of the proposed budget, with an estimated $1,012,241 increase in the school tax levy (i.e., total amount of money collected from local property owners). This 2.96 percent increase is at the district’s tax levy cap, so budget approval by voters requires a simple majority vote of 50 percent plus one.
It is estimated that a property with the average full-value assessment of $210,000 would see an additional $98 in school taxes next year.
Whittemore discussed these details of the 2019-20 school budget proposal during a presentation to the Board of Education on April 8. Download the presentation (PDF).