The Board of Education adopted a proposed $53,065,000 spending plan for the 2018-19 school year at its April 16 meeting.
Under the proposal, spending would increase $2,125,000, or 4.17 percent, over the current year.
The proposed budget carries a tax levy increase of $850,146, or 3.21 percent, which is at the district’s limit – or cap – as calculated by the state formula. As a result, a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) is needed for approval on May 15.
In order to keep spending within the cap, approximately 12 full-time equivalent positions would be eliminated under the proposal.
“The reality is that state aid, which is one of the district’s primary sources of revenue, has not kept pace with the rate at which contractual expenses have gone up,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business Chris Ruberti. “Looking ahead, we project expenses will increase by more than 3 percent per year, while revenue is expected to grow by only about 2 percent. Due to these projections, the district was left with little choice but to look at eliminating positions or exceed the tax cap for 2018-19. We did not believe exceeding the cap was an option.”
Positions eliminated under the proposal include one full-time administrator, 10 full-time teaching positions, and other part-time teaching positions.
District officials estimate the reductions will increase class size in grades K-6 by about two to four students per section.
The proposal also includes about $100,000 in cuts across all areas, including professional development, summer curriculum work and conferences, among others.
“The goal each year is to maintain the strength of our programs and staffing levels to the greatest extent possible while minimizing the financial impact on taxpayers,” said Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Spring. “It’s not easy to propose eliminating positions, but this is the most fiscally responsible choice given the district’s financial reality.”
If the proposed budget is approved by voters, the estimated annual tax increase on an average Rotterdam home with a $150,000 full value assessment will be approximately $75.
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 in the Mohonasen High School gym. You are eligible to vote if you are a U.S. citizen, 18 years old or older and a resident of the school district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.
Absentee ballots are available to residents who will be out of town or unable to vote in person because of illness or disability. Ballots are available in the district office at 2072 Curry Road. You must file an application by May 6 if you would like a ballot mailed to you. To download an absentee ballot application, visit www.mohonasen.org. For more information, call 518-356-8210.