The East Greenbush Central School District Board of Education adopted a $99,778,012 proposed school budget for 2020-21 at Wednesday evening’s meeting that was live streamed to the public. It will be voted on by district residents through absentee ballots which are due back to the district office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. There will be no in-person voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed tax levy increase is 1.5%, which is below the New York State tax cap of 1.62% that applies to East Greenbush, requiring a simple majority to pass the budget. It is the lowest tax levy increase in the past five years.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding whether the state will reduce aid to our schools in the coming months and how this reduction may affect our programs. Thus, at this point the district is taking a cautious approach to its budget next year,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons. “The proposed budget includes resources needed to meet the academic and social emotional needs of our students.”
The proposed budget includes the transfer of $900,000 from reserves to fill a budget gap due to flat state aid.
“We are striving to preserve quality programs for our students through strategic use of reserves – making use of monies previously approved by taxpayers and saved by the district,” said Mr. Simons.
In addition to the school budget, voters will decide on the purchase of eight new school buses out of the Bus Purchase Reserve Fund and elect three Board of Education members to three-year terms. Michael Buono, Kathleen Curtin and Mark Mann are all running for re-election unopposed.
As part of the district’s bus fleet management plan, it plans to trade-in eight older school buses and replace them with new buses that have better fuel efficiency, lower emissions, improved safety features and lower costs for maintenance and repairs. All of the buses would be purchased from the district’s Bus Purchase Reserve Fund with no impact to taxpayers. The district would be reimbursed for approximately 65.2% of the total school bus purchase.
The Bus Purchase Reserve Fund acts like a savings account, allowing the district to store money for the sole purpose of purchasing buses. It also helps the district avoid the costs that come with borrowing.
Residents can learn more about the proposed budget during a virtual public hearing on Wednesday, May 27 and during a virtual presentation on Thursday, May 28. Budget information will also be shared on the school website and in a printed newsletter that is mailed to all district residents.
What’s On the Budget Vote and Board Election Ballot
- Proposition 1: School Budget totaling $99,778,012
- Proposition 2: Authorize $736,070 from Bus Purchase Reserve Fund for eight buses
- Election of three members to the Board of Education
Budget Vote and Board Election Resources
- Budget/Tax homepage
- Budget Timeline
- Proposed Budget Presentation – May 20, 2020
- Budget Documents
- Meet the Board of Education Candidates
All voting will be conducted by mail and all qualified voters will be sent an absentee ballot with a return postage paid envelope. This means there will be no in-person voting at district schools.
Please mail ballots to East Greenbush Central School District, 29 Englewood Ave., East Greenbush, NY 12061. Ballots must be received at the district office by 5 p.m. on June 9.
You are already registered to vote if you have voted in a school election within the last 4 years (or are registered with the County Board of Elections). If you are not registered to vote, register online at the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles website.
If you believe you should have received an absentee ballot but did not, please contact the District Clerk at 518-207-2524 or email@example.com. Completed ballots must be received by the District Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2020.